TAFE Gippsland student Jake Seuren has been shortlisted for a 2021 Victorian Training Award.

The 21-year-old Agriculture studies student from West Gippsland was nominated in the Trainee of the Year category in this year’s coveted state vocational training awards.

He is one of three finalists in the Trainee of the Year category, and he is amongst the 67 worthy finalists announced by the state government this week.

Jake’s nomination came after a submission by his Agriculture studies teachers and managers on Jake’s commitment to his studies, the management of his family farm and his growing community work.

TAFE Gippsland’s program manager agriculture and animal science, Ms Louise Underhill, is just one of many delighted by Jake’s finalist status, saying it recognised Jake as “a young man with passion, energy and a commitment to his family and community”.

“We are very proud of Jake, especially taking on full farm responsibilities as well as starting his own contracting business during challenging times,” Ms Underhill said.

“Jake is an outstanding young man who is a true ambassador for vocational education and training, and at TAFE Gippsland, we are honoured to continue to play a part in developing his skills and knowledge in the agriculture sector.”

Jake was advised of his shortlisting earlier this month and he recently undertook the judging panel interview on-line due to current coronavirus restrictions.

He was assisted in his preparation by TAFE Gippsland’s Director Academic Governance, Mr Brad Beach, who has had VTA judging panel experience and is a past winner of a coveted Victorian Training Award.

The shortlisting of Jake Seuren for a Victorian Training Award is the second finalist in a row for TAFE Gippsland, following the success of Bairnsdale timber trainer, Kevin Nunn, in 2020 at both the state and national training award level.

The winners of the 2021 Victorian Training Awards will be announced on Saturday, October 16, with a gala event set to be held in Melbourne. However, arrangements are likely to be dependent on the level of coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne at the time.

Award recipients will receive $5000 prize money and a selection of award recipients will have the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards.