TOP OF THE CLASS: Blair Lotz from the Northern Co-operative Meat Company was surprised to win his Apprentice of the Year award.
TOP OF THE CLASS: Blair Lotz from the Northern Co-operative Meat Company was surprised to win his Apprentice of the Year award. Samantha Elley

Co-op in good hands

CASINO apprentice Blair Lotz is a humble bloke who never thought that working at Casino Meatworks would earn him an award.

Now as a fourth year apprentice in fitting and machinery he has walked away with the title of Apprentice of the Year from Wollongbar TAFE.

"When Blair applied for the job we only had one vacancy for an apprentice and 32 people applied," mainten- ance supervisor Craig Laves said.

"We think it's excellent that he's won and we've mentioned it to the CEO and board and he's been invited to the next meeting to show his award."

Mr Lotz said he had no idea that he had been nominated.

"I got a letter in the mail from the TAFE to say that I had been nominated," he said.

"The family knew before I did but didn't tell me."

Mr Lotz said he loves working at the Northern Co-operative Meat Company and, with less than a year left before completing apprenticeship, he knows the TAFE award will be great for his resume.

"I always saw myself doing this type of work," he said.

"I'm getting a broad experience here at the moment. I'm working on rebuilding motors and gearboxes and I've also worked on the lathe and machinery."

The Lotz family are understandably proud of Blair's achievement and celebrated after his win.

"We had a few drinks and mum cooked a pork roast the next day," he said.

"She does a pretty good roast."



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