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People's Choice Awards 2020

Category: Apprentice of the Year

Jordon Peterson

Jordon PetersonQualification: Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: HVTC Pty Ltd
Hosted by: Nestle Australia

“Commencing two pre-trade skills certificates at Newman Senior Technical College was a turning point in my life. I competed in WorldSkills regional and national competitions placing first in regionals and second in nationals, and I won every trade award at school.”

Jordan has always had a passion for learning new things. Building on his interest in mechanics at an early age, he knew he would thrive working in a practical career.

“I’m a very hands-on person,” says Jordan. “I can jump in and get a job done quicker if someone explains the task and shows me how to do it. This is why VET has been the best option for me.”

Since commencing his apprenticeship at Nestle, Jordan’s communication skills have drastically improved. His employer HVTC, TAFE NSW teachers and host organisation Nestle, have given him a huge amount of support. Jordan was diagnosed with Erwin's Dyslexia in year 11 and struggles with reading, writing and even light sensitivity. TAFE NSW organised scribes to assist during his exams and his trainers often went the extra mile to ensure he understood particular concepts.

Jordon Peterson “The engineering mechanical field involves reading a lot of plans and taking lots of measurements,” says Jordan. “This is challenging for someone with dyslexia, but I applied myself and worked out ways to manage it in the workplace. I take my time, do my calculations twice and have little tricks, rhymes or phrases to help me remember things.”

One year into his apprenticeship, Jordon was nominated as a Work Health Safety Officer at Nestle. He undertook further training that equipped him to promote WHS in his workplace through conducting safety reports and facilitating onsite training. This role helped him strengthen his leadership and communication skills.

Jordon’s operations manager at HVTC, Libby Ford, says he’s an asset to the engineering and maintenance team at Nestle and to the engineering industry as a whole.

“Jordan will always put his hand up to learn and engage in new projects,” says Libby. “Jordan is a motivated team player who performs above expectations and shows genuine interest and willingness.”

Jordan’s family has strong ties with the Mid North Coast community. Recently Jordan helped transport hay bales to support local communities struggling through the drought. Whether donating time, supporting fundraising or passing on skills to youth in the area, Jordan believes community participation plays a vital role in growing the region.

After completing his Certificate III Engineering (Mechanical) early, Jordan is moving into a Diesel Mechanic apprenticeship to further his career opportunities.

“I hope I can inspire people living with a high-functioning disorder, such as Dyslexia or Asperger’s, to believe in themselves and their capabilities. I doubted myself because of my dyslexia. But I kept positive and threw everything at my studies and training. The experience really helped me grow as a person. I am proof you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”