Throughout his journey, Reece Oldfield has managed to remain humble and while humble he may be, the Mid-Western local couldn't dismiss the magnitude of his latest achievement.
On Friday, October 9 at a COVID-safe event hosted by Skillset in Bathurst, Reece was awarded with the 2020 NSW Training Awards' People's Choice Award for Trainee of the Year.
Over the period of four weeks, more than 6,500 votes were submitted for the People's Choice Awards, and Reece couldn't be more 'humbled'.
"I was really humbled when I found out that I had won the People's Choice Award. I knew the other candidates were highly regarded which made winning this award that much more of an achievement," he said.
"It's a massive accomplishment to win this award, not just for myself but for the many people who have supported me along the way. It is a great privilege to put the mining industry, but more so the Central West region on the map."
Reece, who was employed by Skillset and completed his traineeship with host employer, Yancoal Moolarben Coal, was also named as a finalist for the NSW Training Awards Trainee of the Year after being selected in the top six out of approximately 30,000 trainees in NSW.
"I would like to thank everyone who voted for me throughout the voting process as well as Yancoal for hosting me during my traineeship," he said.
"Lastly, I would like to thank the entire Skillset team for their continued support and dedication to my success in the awards process."
After his tremendous success, Reece looks to become some-what of an ambassador for the region and the mining sector, and is encouraging those in a position to undertake Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses to follow their instincts.
"I am hoping to secure a permanent position at Moolarben Coal mine in the near future and continue my volunteering within the local community. I will continue to be an ambassador for the Central West and for the mining industry," he said.
"I would highly recommend a VET course to anyone who is considering this educational pathway. Vocational Education provides the hands on experience, industry knowledge, and career support that is necessary for equipping people for prosperous careers.
"When selecting subjects at school, follow your interests as this will likely be the direction you hope for your career to move. Be sure to embrace career advisors and all the various means of advice and support around you.
"A huge benefit I found while undertaking my traineeship was that you can earn while you learn, which allows you to save and gain some financial independence. I would encourage anyone that is thinking about a trade industry to consider an apprenticeship or traineeship due to the many opportunities and advanced learning that it offers."