When Calvin Frasson decided to follow his father Luigi’s footsteps, undertaking a diesel fitter career, little did he realise he would be named Hastings Deering’s 2022 Apprentice of the Year.
The 21-year-old diesel fitter was part of the 2019 apprentice cohort and pipped eight other finalists in the prestigious annual competition.
You could say diesel fitting is in his DNA, his father and his father’s twin brother, uncle Albino are diesel fitters with both over the moon with his win.
“It is such a great competition and really challenging,” Calvin said. “I certainly felt most confident with the diagnostic side. I really enjoyed that part because that’s what we do each day. The other parts of the competition, the exam and presenting a prepared speech, take you out of your comfort zone to bring out the best in you.
“My speech was on new business technology, the introduction of a direct air capture system: which basically pulls CO2 out of the environment to reach net zero target.”
If the pressure of delivering a perfect speech wasn’t enough, at the same time Calvin was communicating with his bank on the settlement of his first home: “You could say, at that moment, I was doubly scared,” he said.
While he’s based in Mackay, it’s not the large mining machinery Calvin likes to work on most but the smaller workhorses of the CIT division (construction, infrastructure, transport).
This is the 45th year of the award which is a prelude to entry to a global competition by machinery giant Caterpillar to celebrate the very best in training.
Next up for Calvin is a trip to Melbourne where he will take on the best Caterpillar apprentices from dealerships across the rest of Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia in the final of the annual competition. If he wins this round, he will travel to the United States for specialist training.
Hastings Deering’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Scott said the competition acknowledges the hard work the apprentices put in across their years of training: the friendly rivalry between workshops creating a high-level skills’ contest.
“We continue to be one of the largest trainers of diesel fitter apprentices in Australia,” Mark said. “Every year our judges are impressed by the calibre of the finalists and their abilities to follow procedures that are critical when problem shooting machinery.”