Jake’s budding leadership skills and exceptional progress in all areas from workmanship to client communication, prompted his host Adam Ritson to nominate him into the HIA Apprentice Awards as a way of recognising his growth – something Adam had never done before for previous apprentices he had trained.
The judges were impressed with Jake’s motivation, his ability to lift the morale of his team members in challenging work environments, and his knack for bringing new ideas and performance solutions to the table. These qualities, among others, saw Jake named the 2020 HIA Jim Brookes Australian Apprentice. ‘I nearly fell off the ladder when I was told,’ he recalls. ‘I probably should have got down first! I was taken aback…I couldn’t believe it.’
Having just completed his fourth-year, Jake is currently working his way through his Certificate IV in Building and Construction, at the same time as being thrown more leadership opportunities from his employer. He has been given a few projects to oversee as site foreman, including a $1.2 million workshop project that requires supervising a small team and client liaison.
While at first daunted to have to switch from following directions to giving them, Jake says he is loving the challenge: ‘It keeps the mind ticking, having to manage your time. I’m always trying to pick up efficiencies in doing things and making sure everyone else is on the same page.’
With his sights set on moving up the ranks, he doesn’t want to go anywhere any time soon. A big part of what he loves about his job is the camaraderie: ‘It’s a really good crew here, I work with a few fellas I grew up with through high school and my older brother is here too. It’s an awesome place to work and the variety of jobs is unreal.’