It has been a long time coming, but three local residents are now qualified tradespeople. After four years of hard work, apprentices from Alcoa’s Western Australian operations officially obtained their qualifications at a gala night held in Mandurah earlier this month. Waroona’s Spencer Stone received his qualification in fabrication, as did Crooked Brook resident Marcus Busher. Leschenault’s Benjamin Smith rounds out the local recipients, gaining his qualification in electrical Instrumentation. Mr Smith said he found some of the company’s older workers were some of the best to work with during his apprenticeship. “If you showed a willingness to learn then they would teach you everything they could, they would be patient with me and help me through things that I didn’t understand,” he said. Alcoa chief executive John Slaven congratulated the graduates on their commitment and professionalism. “You have all grabbed the opportunity afforded to you with both hands and it is a real pleasure to see you graduate and embark on what I hope will be rewarding careers in the resources industry,” Mr Slaven said. The company has 107 West Australian apprentices on the books, with another 36 set to start in January.