Master Builders Victoria celebrates apprentices from Victoria’s South West

May 6, 2021 BY

The MBV Regional Apprentice Awards recognised Aron Hutchison, Jake Tomlinson and Otto Opperman for their achievements in the Geelong region.

With the building and construction industry in full swing trying to keep up with the demand for new homes, it is timely that their peak body recognises the importance of apprentices to the industry.

Master Builders Victoria’s (MBV) Regional Apprentice of the Year Awards for the South West were held recently with winners from Highton to Portland acknowledged as best in class at a Geelong awards night.

The awards, which are held annually, celebrate the achievements of apprentices across the spectrum of building and construction trades, with all nominees invited to attend the event with their family and friends.

Master Builders Victoria president Mark Little said these awards hold a special place in his heart.

Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson and president Mark Little are proud to acknowledge the great work done by apprentices in the region.

“In 1997 I was fortunate to win the Geelong Section Apprentice of the Year, Best Overall Apprentice in Carpentry award, and the whole experience was a turning point for me,” Mr Little said.

“Winning the award made me look at our broader industry and get involved with Master Builders Victoria, and it also gave me the confidence to go out and chase my dreams in our industry.

“All the award nominees and winners from the South West proved that they have the work ethic and tools to be successful in our wonderful industry and to help us all build a better world.”

Five major awards were presented to apprentices from Geelong and Western Victoria.




This year’s winners were:

  • 2021 Geelong Training Provider Nominated Apprentice of the Year – Aron Hutchison of Armstrong Creek (Lucas Built Geelong)
  • 2021 Geelong Training Provider Nominated Apprentice of the Year – Jake Tomlinson of Highton
    (Doherty Building Group)
  • 2021 Geelong Chairperson’s Award – Otto Opperman of Ocean Grove
  • 2021 Western Training Provider Nominated Apprentice of the Year – Troy Jensen
  • 2021 Western Chairperson’s Award – Patrick Douglas.

Judges acknowledged each of the winners for their hard work, passion, and dedication to building a career in building and construction.

Apprentices were nominated by their TAFE’s and RTO’s, and those nominated as best overall attend an interview with a panel of judges.

The apprentices interviewed were judged on the following criteria:

  • Preparation & presentation
  • Work Experience
  • Knowledge and career plans
  • Attitude on and about the job.

Aron, Jake, Otto, Troy and Patrick will now go on to the Master Builders Victoria State Apprentice of the Year Awards to be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021, where they will compete against apprentices across Victoria to win overall in their award category.

With Victoria’s building and construction industry desperately short of tradespeople, the MBV is also urging Victorians who have or may lose their jobs after the withdrawal of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper scheme, to consider a new career in building and construction, at a time when the industry is desperately short of tradespeople.

The $90 billion JobKeeper scheme which had been a financial lifeline for many businesses, officially ended on Sunday, March 28, 2021, with Federal Treasury speculating that up to 150,000 jobs could be lost across Australia.

MBV CEO Rebecca Casson is urging Victorians who find themselves facing unemployment to consider a career change into building and construction.

“Unfortunately, there will be many hard-working Victorians who will find themselves unemployed through no fault of their own,” she said.

“However, at the same time, in the building and construction industry we are now facing a huge boom in demand, and an unprecedented shortage in many trades and skills.

“There could be some very good opportunities for Victorians who find themselves unemployed to think about a whole new career, especially women who only currently make up one per cent of the industry in Australia.”