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Award winners help fill industry skills gap

Afghan immigrant Ali Rezaie has defied the odds and taken out the rising star awards at Kangan Institute as part of a crop of great new talent primed for the repair industry.

Rezaie of Hampton Park; trained at Kangan Institute’s Automotive Centre of Excellence in Docklands and the Rising Star Apprentice: Autobody sponsored by: Saint Gobain

Just four years ago, Ali began his journey in Australia adopting English as a new language, while working as an apprentice panel beater at AMA Group’s Capital S.M.A.R.T Rowville.

He also already notched up a series of awards including 2022 WorldSkills Regional Championships – Silver Medal in Autobody Repair, 2023 WorldSkills National Championships – Bronze Medal in Autobody Repair and 2022 Capital S.M.A.R.T Victorian Apprentice of the Year.

“Panel beating is great; I just really like working on cars. I’m very happy to receive this award,” Rezaie says.

“I want to thank the teachers from Kangan; my trainers helped me a lot, as well as the company I’m working with, AMA Group.”

Kangan Institute Chief Executive Officer Sally Curtain said Rezaie was an example of the vital TAFE had in enabling students to achieve success in critical skill shortage areas.

“For nearly 100 years Kangan Institute has played an integral role in Melbourne to support students in gaining skills and training for successful careers while meeting critical skill needs in Victoria,” Curtain said.

“Vocational education and training is absolutely critical right now. Government and industries are relying on TAFE to equip students with the in-demand skills of the future.

“There is no better evidence of that than in our award winners who have worked hard to excel and are now well-positioned to help employers take their business to the next level!

“I acknowledge our industry collaborators and the Victorian Government for their invaluable support including Free TAFE, which enables us to deliver world-class training, that aligns with the demands of industry, the economy and the community.”

A total of 80 vocational students and apprentices were honoured at the 2024 Kangan Institute Industry Excellence Awards in a diverse range of career skills from nursing, management to childcare.

For a full list of winners go to here

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