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CFA apprentice recognised
CFA’s Ash Menz has been recognised as one of the Wimmera’s most outstanding apprentices.
Based at CFA’s Horsham workshop, the 21 year old won Best Apprentice, Third Year in Trade at the 2015 Skillinvest Regional Awards, his award reading “Ashley enjoys his work and it shows”.
The apprentice mechanic says it’s an easy job to love. “(I like) just everything. The variety. Different types of trucks every day.”
Ash started training in CFA’s Horsham workshop while still in high school, before receiving a full-time apprenticeship. He’s now in his fourth and final year of a Certificate Three in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.
Independent judges handed him the award after two months of interviews and other assessments.
His manager at the Horsham workshop, District Mechanical Officer Bill Wilson, nominated him. “First and second year he was a good worker, but in his third year he really hit his straps” Bill said.
“He just blossomed and boom, away he went.”
“He’s just one of those people who has a passion for the job. He’s diligent, he’s reliable, he’s trustworthy and he’s a good team member.”
As part of his apprenticeship Ash has to complete the equivalent of eight weeks of formal training a year at Sunraysia TAFE in Swan Hill. Last year he completed the study in half that time, then got straight back to work in Horsham.
Under his own initiative he also trained and received licences to operate forklifts and heavy rigid vehicles, as well as a plant operator’s qualification, all to make him more useful around the workshop.
“Ash is just a good country kid. He travels about 60 kilometres a day to work but he’s never, ever late. On his worst day he was on time,” Bill said.
Manager of Fleet Maintenance Danny Jones said: “Ash has got a good work ethic and commitment to learning a trade. He listens and applies what he has learnt in a professional manner.”
Ash himself says that’s the key. “You’ve just got to listen. The blokes around you are the ones with all the experience. You’ve just got take it all in.”