Townsville Council shines at Queensland Training Awards

Date published: 31 July 2023

Council came home with flying colours at the weekend’s prestigious Queensland Training Awards, named as Large Employer of the Year, winning Apprentice of the Year and as a finalist in the trainee of the year category.

Graduated/completed electrical apprentice Benjamin Zabel was the winner of the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year on the night and will now go on to represent North Queensland at the Gala State Final on 9 September in Brisbane.

Benjamin completed his Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician with Townsville City Council in March 2023 and says he is committed to completing his Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control to widen his career opportunities.

“This is my fifth year with Council now and my apprenticeship has developed not just my technical skills but my life skills and resilience,” he said.

“I have become an apprentice mentor, team captain, and health and safety representative, which has taught me the value of being positive, calm, and adaptive when working effectively in a team.

“I was pretty proud that I had got to that point, I wasn’t really expecting to win the award, but it was nice to get recognised.

“My family are up in Einasleigh in north-west Queensland so unfortunately they weren’t able to make the awards night but they are all really proud of me.”

Townsville City Council was thrilled to also take out Large Employer of the Year for the second year in a row.

Division 7 Councillor Kurt Rehbein paid tribute to both Benjamin’s and Council’s achievements, including the great work Council does with youth and graduates in the Townsville region.

“Benjamin was a deserved winner of Apprentice of the Year and he’s a real asset to his team and to Council,” Cr Rehbein said.

“In February this year Council welcomed its largest ever intake of Apprentices, Trainees and Graduates, with these 37 new starters helping to bolster our goal to grow Townsville into the leading centre of education and training.

“We are proud to offer a variety of entry-level opportunities for those starting their career, retraining in something new as well as those needing practical work experience to support their studies.

“Once our apprentices and trainees finish their training, they will be able to work anywhere across the Townsville, North Queensland region with their nationally recognised qualification, strengthening our city’s workforce into the future.”

Former Council employee Sian Williams, who completed Certificate III in Business with the Learning and Development Team, was also recognised as a regional finalist in the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year award.

Applications to join Council’s apprentice and trainee program for 2024 are open now and close on Friday, 4 August.

Both Ben and Townsville City Council now go through to the Queensland State Awards on Saturday, 9 September.

For more information, visit Council’s Career and Pathways page.

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year Benjamin Zabel
Caption: Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year Benjamin Zabel.