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The achievements of TAFE NSW’s brightest students and the contribution of its alumni have been recognised at the 2017 TAFE NSW Hunter and Central Coast Student Excellence Awards.
 
35 students and three Alumni have been recognised as part of the annual Awards at Noah’s on the Beach on Friday in front of a crowd of more than 180 students, employers, business and community leaders. 
 
The Awards, which are supported by 20 industry and business partners, included the announcement of Building and Construction graduate, Matthew Hurley as winner of the 2017 Student of the Year and Medal of Excellence for TAFE NSW Hunter and Central Coast. 
 
Matthew Hurley is a builder with Chris Wade Constructions on the Central Coast and has completed both his trade level Certificate III in Carpentry and Certificate IV in Building and Construction qualifications at TAFE NSW, Ourimbah
 
Matthew’s refined skill and passion for the building industry, in particular bespoke architectural projects, has seen him compete in WorldSkills Australia competitions at both regional and national level. Dubbed as the ‘Trade Olympics’, Matthew won Silver at the WorldSkills Australia National Competition in Melbourne last October and was then selected to receive a prestigious BBM Skilled Futures Scholarship. The Scholarship provides an invaluable opportunity for career development that will see him travel to the UK later this month to undertake a two-week leadership program and work experience with a leading architectural building company. 
 
Singleton Diggers was recognised with the 2017 Industry Partnership Award for its 20 years of collaboration with TAFE NSW to deliver customised industry training for its staff. The training program provides the opportunity for all staff to gain Certificate IV in Hospitality qualifications delivered through an on-the-job traineeship and has resulted in a 90% employee retention rate.
 
Winners of the 2017 Alumni Awards are:
 
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager North, Elizabeth McGregor, said that the 2017 Awards highlighted the value of industry relevant vocational education and training in skilling the workforce of tomorrow.
 
“Our award winners are the future industry leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and small business owners of tomorrow. The awards represent the diversity and breadth of skills learning, educational pathways and career opportunities that are possible through TAFE NSW,” Ms McGregor said.
 
"Importantly these awards also recognise the skills our graduates have developed through practical, hands-on and industry relevant training. This training prepares students for the jobs that will support the growth of existing and new industries across the Hunter and Central Coast regions.”