New HVIA Apprenticeship Awards Recognise All Trades

HVIA’s prestigious 2024 National Awards – which celebrate the achievements of the nation’s heavy vehicle industry – have opened for nominations today.

The six award categories all include substantial prizes for the first time, in addition to the honour and esteemed trophies.

What’s more, this year HVIA’s National Awards include three new awards – replacing and expanding on the historic National Apprentice of the Year award. The new categories are Apprentice Technician of the Year, Apprentice Trailer & Body Builder of the Year and the penultimate Heavy Vehicle Apprentice of the Year.

Each apprentice category award winner will receive a hosted VIP Supercars experience thanks to NTI and TruckAssist, HVIA’s Principal Partner and the HVIA National Awards Major Sponsor.

Winners of the Product Innovation Award, sponsored by Wurth, and the Safety Innovation Award, sponsored by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, will each receive an advertising and editorial package valued at more than $7,000 in the 2025 Brisbane Truck Show Official Program.

More than 200 people attended the prestigious 2023 HVIA National Awards Gala Dinner to celebrate the heavy vehicle industry’s innovators, innovations and leaders, both current and emerging

HVIA will also present a cheque for $2,000 to the community initiative that wins the Community Leadership Award, sponsored by Caltex.

Chief Executive Officer Todd Hacking says the awards are a fitting celebration of the Australian heavy vehicle industry’s capacity to provide innovative and safe solutions for the vital road transport task.

“The HVIA National Awards recognise that freight is not just a seven-letter word; it’s food, it’s sanitisation, it’s essential fuels, it’s equipment for our hospitals, parts for our machines, the construction materials that build roads, schools, and our shelter – literally the clothes on our backs,” he says.

“And whether your role is making a truck or a trailer, selling it, repairing it, making a component or piece of technology to make the task safer or more efficient, these awards recognise the vital contribution you and your company play in delivering on this incredibly important task for the nation.”

Mick O’Phee accepts The Drake Group’s 2023 Product Innovation Award for its revolutionary ‘London’ Container Double Stack Super B Double SKEL Trailer Combination

Hacking adds the expansion of the awards’ apprentice categories recognises the vital role young tradespeople play in securing the future of heavy vehicle manufacturing in Australia.

“Every year we’re honoured to witness more of our members’ extraordinary innovation and ingenuity being revealed,” he says.

“It also brings us great joy to recognise some amazing young industry people at the start of what we expect to be a long and fulfilling career in the heavy industry.”

Under the new awards line-up, the Apprentice Technician of the Year directly replaces the old Apprentice of the Year award, honouring final-year and graduating technicians working across the heavy vehicle industry for dealerships, OEM’s, operators and other HVIA member companies.

The 2023 awards attracted a cross-section of industry figures, from key decision makers to an impressive number of up-and-coming young apprentices and future industry leaders.

The new Apprentice Trailer & Body Builder of the Year award covers the vital trades securing the future of heavy vehicle manufacturing in Australia.

It includes specialists Certificate III in Automotive Manufacturing Technical Operations – Bus, Truck and Trailer, but also member employees whose trade might be fabricator, boiler maker, fitter and turner or other trades directly applicable to heavy vehicle manufacturing and body-building.

The Heavy Vehicle Apprentice of the Year is the new major award, open to all trades employed by the heavy vehicle industry.

All nominees of the first two categories will automatically be considered, however, the award is also open to final-year apprentices graduating in specialist roles such as auto-electrician, panel-beater, spray painter, draftsman, parts interpreter, engineer, refrigeration mechanic, warehouse & logistics, etc.

Brown and Hurley’s Jason Cooper was awarded the 2023 Peter Langworthy Future Leaders Award by HVIA Chairman John Drake at the 2023 event held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

“This new award recognises that Australia’s innovative world-class heavy vehicle manufacturing industry depends on an emerging talent pool with the skills to produce vehicles built to tackle Australia’s unique and diverse freight task,” Hacking says.

Nominations close on Friday, August 2, but that doesn’t allow for complacency. Members are encouraged to start their nominations early and build on them over the next few weeks. The quality is expected to be exceptionally high this year, so the extra effort will be most likely rewarded.

Start your nomination now here.

Winners will be announced at the prestigious 2024 HVIA National Awards Gala Dinner to be held on Thursday, December 5 at the home of the Brisbane Truck Show, the world-class Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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