James has his eye on the prize

James has his eye on the prize

  • Published on Monday 26 September, 2016
  • 4 min. to read


In the lead up to the Australian Training Awards on 17 November, MEGT is celebrating the achievements of all our employers, apprentices and trainees who have won state-level awards and who will now compete at the national finals.


Today we are pleased to announce the winner of the:

School-based Apprentice of the Year (VIC)

James Schifferle

James Schifferle always had an interest in how things work so it was no surprise to his family and friends when he decided to take on a Certificate III in Information, Digital Media & Technology while he was still in year 10 at Swan Hill College.

In year 11, James was offered a School-based Apprenticeship by the school. After being signed up by MEGT Echuca Apprenticeships Field Consultant, Mahir Ozdilek, James began working for Swan Hill College while he studied. He now plans to complete both year 12 and his apprenticeship this year, and begin a Bachelor of Information Technology at university in 2017.

James says winning this award has given him the confidence he needs to aim high, and that’s exactly what he’s doing – his long-term goal is to gain employment in a large business, potentially in the cyber-security field. He also believes his apprenticeship has taught him valuable lessons he will take with him into the workplace.

“The biggest thing I have learnt through my apprenticeship is the importance of teamwork in the workplace. Almost every day you find yourself looking for a peer’s perspective and insight on an issue, trying to find a different or more efficient solution,” he said.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools and Work Placement Coordinator at Swan Hill College, Helen Watkins, is thrilled with the recognition James has received so far and credits his skills and hard work for his success.

“James shows commitment to seizing any opportunity to learn and willingness to extend himself. He has matured into a capable and articulate young man and has taken the initiative to seek out, and participate in, additional opportunities in order to increase his knowledge. He then applies this in the workplace to become a valued member of the team,” said Helen.

The team at Swan Hill College, and in particular the IT Department, are long-term supporters of the School-based Apprenticeship program and its benefits.

Achievements so far


James is no stranger to winning awards, receiving the following during his time undertaking Certificate III in Information, Digital Media & Technology:

Year 10 – 2014

  • Regional VET Excellence Awards – winner VET in Schools Information Technology Category
  • High Distinction, Swan Hill College (top 5% of students in year level)


Year 11 – 2015

  • Regional VET Excellence Awards – winner School-based Apprentice 1st-year category
  • High Distinction, Swan Hill College (top 5% of students in year level)


Year 12 – 2016

  • Victorian Training Awards – winner Victorian School-based Apprentice of the Year
  • VTA Ambassador – School-based Apprenticeships
  • Swan Hill College – currently studying English, Math Methods, Physics, Software Development & completing final year of Certificate III in Information, Communication & Media Technology

“We are passionate about creating opportunities for students to extend their knowledge and develop real workplace skills, and to develop into confident young adults who are well prepared to transition to the next stage of their training and employment,” Helen said.

Swan Hill College and MEGT both wish James all the very best of luck at November’s national training awards and for his future ambitions. Well done James!

Inspired by James’ story?
Contact MEGT today on 13 6348 to find out more about
Australian School-based Apprenticeships.