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    VERSATILE: Ararat College year-12 graduate Mitch McKinnis has found a renewed sense of inspiration after receiving a nomination for school-based apprentice of the year.

‘Quiet achiever’ Mitch McKinnis in the running for apprentice award

Mitch McKinnis has finished his schooling on a high note, with a nomination for a school-based apprentice of the year award.   

The Ararat College student has earned a nomination in the Apprentice Employment Network awards, which recognise school-based apprentices and trainees across the country. 

This year, Mitch has been juggling his year-12 studies while completing certificate III diesel mechanics at Ararat Rural City Council, all while faced with challenges of online and remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of his training, Mitch also works with Western District Diesel Services every Tuesday. His course work is undertaken with Sunraysia TAFE.



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“It’s a pretty good feeling to be recognised for the work I’ve been doing,” he said. 

“It’s been good going to the school and working at the shire and Western District at the same time.”

Mitch said he was keen to push forward with his apprenticeship now that he had officially finished his schooling.  “As part of my job I’m servicing, maintaining and repairing different machinery from graders to trucks down to mowers and other small engines,” he said. 

“At the shire you get to work on the same gear and can get familiar with it all – and at Western District you work on anything and everything.

“Both jobs are giving me solid foundations.”

Ararat College careers practitioner Andrew Sherwell said Mitch was a quiet achiever who continually worked hard at school and in his job. 

“Mitch has shown all the required employability skills and his own personal initiative to be able gain nomination. He’s a quiet achiever but he loves getting his hands dirty,” he said. 

“Not only is he working for two great organisations, he is building a good network as well.

“His nomination also encourages us at the school to have some concrete evidence to show that we are able to provide good outcomes for our students.”

College students Reece Kettle, Josh Scown and Jordan Ferguson have also successfully gained full-time apprenticeships after finishing their schooling this year.

Mr Sherwell congratulated the students and thanked the employers providing the opportunities.

– Dylan De Jong 

The entire November 18, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!