FORMER SuniTAFE apprentice Kade Loxton, PICTURED, has been named the winner of the 2022 Bendigo Apprentice of the Year Future Builder Award.

More than 120 guests last week attended the Master Builders Victoria Regional Apprentice of the Year Awards, which aimed to applaud the outstanding achievements of apprentices in the building and construction industry throughout regional and metropolitan Victoria.

Nominated by SuniTAFE and employed by JD Construction Mildura, Loxton got a taste for his trade early through spending time with his father on site, which later led to his apprenticeship.

“It was through working with dad on weekends and during school holidays that I met others in the trade industry and from that I wanted to have a go at building,” he said.

Loxton said to originally be nominated for the award felt like a “pat on the back” but he was “shocked” to have won.

“By looking at the work by some of the other blokes who were nominated I was very impressed, I thought there was a fair few there with a good chance,” he said.

“I was pretty shocked and very excited to get that recognition.”

The 21-year-old puts his success down to the support he has received over the years from SuniTAFE and his workplace.

“The teachers are easy to get along with, they are there to help you and will never hold you back,” he said.

“They are there to work with you and if you can’t get in there, they will still make sure they are still able to work with you to get your work done.

“While working with Josh I have been part of completing some pretty cool projects and I have learnt a fair bit.

“I have also been trying to come in on the business side of things and learning both aspects, not just on the tools but how everything also operates within the office. Which could be reason why I stood out.”

The judges were said to be impressed by Loxton’s forward-thinking.

“With goals to one day become a registered builder and take on projects of his own, Kade is determined to reach his ambitions for the future,” they said.

“Under the guidance of his employer, JD Construction Mildura, Kade desires to expand both his business and hands-on skills.

“Kade is extremely driven in his apprenticeship and is excited for what the future holds.”

Supporting Loxton on the awards night was SuniTAFE building studies teachers Mathew Ablett, Jason Caruana, Jeff Muller and Gary Sydes.

“We are very proud that Kade was the winner of this year’s Master Builders awards for the north west and Bendigo region,” Ablett said.

“He is a worthy winner and has had regular nominations for year level awards in the lead up to this overall apprenticeship award.

“Kade exhibits all the qualities that we would look for in an apprentice and this will be just the start of a great career for Kade.”

Throughout his apprenticeship which he completed a year ago, he has been recognised for his commitment to the trade and was previously awarded SuniTAFE Apprentice of the Year (2nd Year).

Kade will now go on to compete at the Master Builders Victoria Apprentice of the Year Awards.