By Danielle Kutchel
A Cranbourne resident has been “humbled” to receive a prestigious, state-wide honour for her dedication to learning and her profession.
Jessica Scott-Smith was announced as the Apprentice of the Year at the 2019 Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) and Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia Awards in late 2019.
She also picked up the Inspiration Award: Women in Trades.Fifty per cent of the individual award winners this year were women, marking a shift in the composition of traineeships and apprenticeships in Victoria.
Ms Scott-Smith is currently undertaking on-the-job learning with the City of Casey through her employer, Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd, after completing her studies in horticulture at Swinburne.
She said she had always loved the environment and conservation, passions which drew her into horticulture.
“Working outside and in beautiful places is a bonus!” she said.
Over the past few years she has undertaken revegetation projects and important weed and pest management work.
Ms Scott-Smith now has a Certificate III in horticulture as well as traffic management, chemical and machinery qualifications, and her HR truck licence.
Three months out from the end of her apprenticeship, she hasn’t quite made up her mind on a particular area of focus for her career.
“I want to continue learning. My ultimate goal is to start up, build or promote either a new or current project that fosters and encourages relationships between people and environment. I would love the opportunity to one day manage green spaces, where I can implement my ideas and showcase my creativity and passion for plants and trees.”
The awards are further encouragement for the budding horticulturalist, and motivation to continue working hard.
Ms Scott-Smith also hopes that other female apprentices can take something from her experience.
“Follow your passion and support each other,” she urged.”