The finalists for Capricorn’s Rising Stars Apprentice of the Year have been revealed, with Marama Thompson, Harrison Oastler, Jessica Smith, Jackson Vogelsang and Chelsea Bowers making the top five for 2022.
In its fifth year running, Capricorn’s prestigious apprentice achievement award received 341 nominations from automotive businesses across Australia and New Zealand. The high calibre of entries received in 2022 is a testament to the ongoing value and importance of the apprentices in the industry.
By recognising automotive apprentices’ contribution, Capricorn aims to help build a more sustainable industry and forge deeper relations with young repairers and workshops.
The top five Capricorn Rising Star Apprentice of the Year competition finalists are:
- Marama Thompson - Auto Super Shoppe Eurotech, New Zealand
- Harrison Oastler - NQ Kool Cars and Kustoms, Queensland
- Jessica Smith - Harris Automotive, Victoria
- Jackson Vogelsang - Fleurieu Crash Repairs, South Australia
- Chelsea Bowers - John Edwards Automotive, Queensland
Capricorn CEO Automotive, Brad Gannon, said the awards showcased the talent and diversity of automotive aftermarket apprentices from panel and fabrication to auto electrical, general mechanical, heavy diesel and more.
“Unlike other apprentice competitions that focus purely on the technical proficiency of nominees, Capricorn Rising Stars prioritises rewarding apprentices who demonstrate a passion for the automotive industry, a positive can-do attitude and a strong commitment to forging a long career as a repairer. The unique judging criteria created a level field for first to fourth-year apprentices across all disciplines. This encouraged Capricorn Members to nominate apprentices who demonstrated outstanding character and potential.
“Completing an automotive apprenticeship is no easy undertaking. The qualified technician shortage highlights how important it is to train the next generation, support our apprentices and create a pipeline of talent for the future.”
Harris Automotive was impressed by the commitment and courage of Jessica Smith, their nomination that made the top five, saying “Jessica has definitely shown us that women do belong in the workshop, she puts in 100% and has given us faith that there are still hard-working youth willing to get their hands dirty, learn a trade and take pride in their work.”
Strong female representation has also been a prominent feature of this year’s Rising Star awards, with women making up three of the five finalists for the first time in 2022.
The Rising Stars Apprentice of the Year Awards is delivered by Capricorn in partnership with Castrol, Repco and the Workshop Whisperer.
The top five finalists received a $1,000 Repco voucher, $1,000 cash from Castrol and tickets to two Repco masterclasses. The overall winner will also receive an additional $5,000 in prize money from Castrol and a Capricorn Rising Stars trophy. The winner’s workshop will also receive complimentary enrolment in the Workshop Whisperer’s Service Advisor Pro online program.
The five finalists will now go on to compete for the coveted title of Capricorn Rising Star 2022, which will be announced in August.
“We congratulate all the finalists in these special awards and we wish the best of luck to our top five finalists,” Brad Gannon concluded.