An apprentice fitter and turner from Dubbo whose passion for the career was first on show as a work experience student has taken out a top honour.
Growing up at rural Tottenham, Clinton Larkings developed an interest in fixing farm machinery.
On Friday the engineering (mechanical trade) apprentice was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2019 NSW Training Awards for the western region.
It's the second prestigious accolade for Mr Larkings who won a gold medal in turning at the national WorldSkills competition last year.
"Clinton's WorldSkills win now sees him vying for selection in the Australian Skillaroos team that will compete at the 2019 International WorldSkills competition in Russia in August against the best apprentices from around the globe," Department of Industry acting deputy secretary of skills David Collins said.
Mr Larkings said he always "enjoyed working with [his] hands and figuring things out" so engineering was a natural career path.
- READ MORE: Clinton picked to take his skills global
"Living on a farm, when vital machinery breaks down you often can't get it fixed quickly so we had to fix it ourselves and I loved doing that," he said.
As a high school student, Mr Larkings did work experience with Luke Cross Engineering and Rigging and impressed the business owner as being "switched on".
In 2016 he moved to Dubbo to start his apprenticeship, training through TAFE NSW and gaining employment with Mr Cross.
Throughout his apprenticeship he's been an asset.
"We're fortunate to have him, he puts the commitment in and gets the rewards," Mr Cross said.
TAFE NSW acting regional general manager Adam Bennett congratulated Mr Larkings on his outstanding achievements.
"Clinton's dedication and commitment to his study and being the best he can be is to be commended," he said.
"The extra effort that he has put into studying at TAFE NSW and as an apprentice at Luke Cross Engineering and Rigging in Dubbo has certainly paid off."
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