Jimboomba's Natasha Kirchner named Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprentice of the Year at TAFE Queensland

KEEPING IT COOL: Natasha Kirchner is TAFE Queensland's Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprentice of the Year.
KEEPING IT COOL: Natasha Kirchner is TAFE Queensland's Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprentice of the Year.

JIMBOOMBA apprentice Natasha Kirchner has proven she can keep her cool in a male-dominated profession, being named the top apprentice in her field by TAFE Queensland.

Ms Kirchner took out the title of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprentice of the Year at the third annual TAFE Queensland - SkillsTech Apprentice Awards.

The 23-year-old has been employed by Airmaster for a year, and said she was surprised to find she had been nominated for the title.

"I'm really excited that I could accomplish something like this," she said.

"It's been a great experience so far and I can't wait to keep going."

Ms Kirchner said her aim was to rise up to a job in management.

"There are opportunities to grow and move around in the company. It's a fair way away but something that I would definitely like to do," she said.

The only female in her class at TAFE, Ms Kirchner said women were a rarity in her trade.

"It was a little frightening at first but everyone is quite friendly at TAFE so it was a good experience," she said.

Airmaster Australia operations manager Luke Perissini said since Ms Kirchner started in the job a year ago, she had consistently impressed her colleagues and bosses.

"We receive great feedback across the board about Natasha. All of our tradesmen really enjoy working with her," Mr Perissini said.

"For someone that has only been in the industry for a short time she has shown a great amount of work ethic which is something we don't often see in this day and age.

"Typically, we find that most apprentices might take a year or two to find their feet in the industry but from the moment Natasha came on board with us she has shown passion, eagerness and drive."

The 2020 apprentice of the year nominees were selected from more than 9000 apprentices across carpentry, plumbing, electrotechnology, refrigeration and air conditioning, manufacturing and engineering, heavy commercial vehicle, mobile plant and diesel fitting, light automotive, construction and furnishing trade areas.