David Cowley announced as John Andrew Apprentice of the Year winner for 2020/21

The MLAA is delighted to announce that David Cowley of Precision Locksmiths is the winner of the combined 2020/2021 John Andrew Apprentice of the Year competition.
David was presented with the award at the MLAA Victorian Branch Meeting in Melbourne earlier this month, along with his mentor Walter Mioch.
With testing for the competition delayed over the past two years due to coronavirus, the Association was finally able to bring Australasia’s best locksmith apprentices together in Melbourne in February. Six contestants battled it out at the K.J. Ross Security Locks facility in Melbourne, demonstrating their skills in a range of locksmithing techniques.
“It’s a real honour to win the award,” said David. “The testing was actually really fun, and it was great networking with the other contestants. I think we all came out of the weekend really good mates.”
The John Andrew Apprentice of the Year competition recognises the important role a mentor plays in an apprentice’s training, and David’s mentor Walter Mioch was also presented with an award.
“I’m very proud of David, who’s been a pleasure to have working with us,” said Walter. “I’ve always admired how he went about his work with a lot of pride and passion.”
“I’d also like to acknowledge my managers Chris and Ron, who play a big role with the apprentices on our team. Mentoring apprentices is a team effort – they say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s the same with apprentices.”

Trip to Europe

David and Walter will be heading to Europe as part of the fantastic prize provided by award sponsors LSC, Silca and ABUS.
The fully funded trip will visit the Silca factory in Italy and the ABUS factory in Germany, both world-class manufacturing facilities.
“It’s going to be really exciting,” said David. “I haven’t been overseas before – I haven’t even got a passport! I think going to the Silca and ABUS factories and being able to see that extra step in the industry will give me more of an appreciation of the stuff we use every day.”
“I would 100% encourage apprentices to apply for the competition in future. It really opens your eyes to the industry, gives you a chance to see what other locksmiths are doing, and build on your ideas for the future.”

Runners up

The MLAA also congratulates the two runners up from the John Andrew Apprentice of the Year competition for 2020/21:
Runner up: Bryan Salmon, NQ Locksmiths
Second runner up: Thomas Cattle, Nelson Bay Locksmith


The MLAA would like to acknowledge the enormous support and assistance of the following organisations and individuals with this year’s competition: LSC, Silca, ABUS, K.J. Ross Security Locks, Steve Howard, Cliff Forrester and Jim Fisher.

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