Construction passion

James Horvat, of Newnham Earthmoving, has been named CCF Victorian Apprentice of the Year.

Newnham Earthmoving’s James Horvat has been named Victorian Apprentice of the Year in the Civil Contractors Federation Earth and Training Awards.

The Gisborne local joined Newnham Earthmoving in 2018 after completing school with a strong academic performance but his career at a “loose end”.

He had taken a gap year to assess his options and after confirming abattoir work was not for him, tried his hand at Newnhams in Romsey.

James quickly grew confidence in pipe laying, services installation, the use of GPS technology and the operation and care of plant and equipment.

He soon realised that, for him, this had become more than a fill-in job: in civil construction he had found his passion.

James cancelled his gap-year to sign on for an apprenticeship with the Newnham Earthmoving in Certificate III in Civil Construction.

“I’m working with a good group of guys and every day is a new challenge,” he said.

James has worked on various projects including the Melbourne-Lancefield Road, roundabout and safety works at Monegeetta – which was highly commended in the CCF awards.

James looks forward to continuing his career with Newnham Earthmoving and general manager Mick McCarthy said it was a good fit.

“James is highly regarded by his peers, he is committed, has a good attention to detail and is very reliable,” Mick said.

James is one of 10 apprentices at Newnham Earthmoving to finish this year, in a workforce of about 45.