July 31, 2019
The South Burnett has picked up two major awards at the regional finals of the Queensland Training Awards, held in Gatton on Friday night.
Astill’s Electrical Services, based in Kingaroy, was named Darling Downs South West Region Medium Employer of the Year, beating strong competition which included Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council.
This is the second year in a row Astill’s has won a regional training award – and they’ve only entered twice!
Last year, Mick and Amanda Astill took home the regional Small Employer of the Year award, but because their workforce has grown over the past 12 months, they were judged this year in a higher category.
The latest trophy has topped off an exciting few months for the couple.
Astill’s shifted into larger, custom-built premises in Kingaroy Street two months ago after leasing at a nearby location for many years.
In fact, the business has come a long way in a short time.
“It is 10 years in September since we started in a garage in Wondai,” Amanda said.
They now have 26 employees, based across Kingaroy and the Sunshine Coast, including seven apprentices and one administration trainee plus 14 vehicles on the road.
Mick is proud of the fact their very first apprentice, put on just a couple of months after the business started, is still working for them almost a decade later.
And he’s also proud the business hires locally: 16 members of their current team are all former Kingaroy State High School students.
Astill’s handles everything from broken powerpoints to large commercial jobs, as well as solar power and air conditioning installations.
The second South Burnett win in Gatton was by Phyllicia Landers, from Cherbourg, who was presented with the regional Equity VET Student of the Year award.
Phyllicia started as a hospitality trainee under the State Government’s Skilling Queenslanders For Work program in 2016 and completed a Certificate II in Hospitality.
In October 2017, she was offered a paid position by SkillCentred Queensland at the Cherbourg Community Cafe and Training Centre where she works four days a week.
Phyllicia and Astill’s Electrical will now go on to compete at the State final which will be held in Brisbane on September 14.
Other local finalists in the Darling Downs South West region were:
School-Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year
VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year
Community Training Initiative of the Year
Large Employer of the Year
Medium Employer of the Year
Darling Downs South West regional winners: