James Simpson has reached a new career goal.

The Sunbury resident was awarded the Sir Henry Royce Foundation Award for Excellence at Kangan Institute’s annual apprentice and industry awards ceremony last month.

“It was really good, it was a surprise … I really didn’t expect it,” Mr Simpson said.

He studied a certificate II in automotive manufacturing at Kangan Institute, and through his schooling, was able to secure a job at Barker Trailers in Woodend.

“I had to go to school for my job, and learning all the skills has been a real plus for work,” Mr Simpson said.

Kangan Institute chief executive Trevor Schwenke congratulated the award winners.

“Kangan Institute is very proud to celebrate the achievements of our talented apprentices through the annual apprentice and industry awards ceremony,” Mr Schwenke said.

“We hope this award will empower you to achieve greater success and be role models for other apprentices starting on this path.

“I’d also like to thank the Victorian government, our industry partners and award sponsors.

“Their steadfast support for vocational education and training excellence enable us to continue delivering quality training and producing skilled talents.”