A trio of City of Rockingham residents have been recognised at a South Metropolitan TAFE graduation ceremony for their commitment to excellence throughout their course. Twenty-seven trainees from intakes one and two recently graduated from the Defence Industry Pathways Program at the Bentley Pines Training Restaurant in front of family, friends and TAFE, Navy and Defence industry representatives. The pathways program is funded by the Federal Government and provides a 12-month traineeship to give people the skills to be employed in the maritime defence industry. Rockingham’s Cooper Graydon received the excellence award for intake one of the program. Jasmine Cane of Waikiki and Candy Alderson of Baldivis were both awarded safety awards for intakes one and two respectively. The excellence award recognises ‘all-rounder’ trainees who excelled in both their on-campus training and maritime defence industry work placements. Mr Graydon was nominated for his eagerness to learn and take opportunities, which led to him accepting a drafting role at defence industry contractor BAE Systems. The safety award recognises trainees who demonstrate the importance of safety in workplace environments on and off campus. Ms Alderson said she was lucky to be offered a position in the pathway program. She has recently started as a rigger at defence industry employer BRE Engineering. “As a single mum, I did not have any experience and didn’t know what career path I wanted to choose,” Ms Alderson said. “While completing my work placement I found I had a passion for rigging and mechanical fitting and at the end of the traineeship I was offered a position with BRE Engineering.” South Metropolitan TAFE managing director Terry Durant said she was proud to see so many graduates securing roles in the defence industry. “The Defence Industry Pathways Program is giving trainees experience across a range of career options in the defence industry so they can decide which path they want to take before entering the workplace,” Ms Durant said. “This program reinforces our commitment to building a pipeline of talent for WA’s booming shipbuilding industry.” For more information on SM TAFE’s defence industry training, visit southmetrotafe.wa.edu.au.