Mr Cannon received the award in Melbourne on Sunday night, impressing judges who said he stood out above other contestants from around the country.
Although he was introduced to working with tools by his grandparents as a youngster and was influenced by other family members in the trades, Mr Cannon wasn’t sure of his career path until well into Year 12.
“I was struggling to find a passion through year 9 and 10,” he said. “I had thought about becoming a fisheries officer or going into civil engineering but once I started the woodworking classes, I was amazed at my natural talent for it and how much I enjoyed it.
“I found my passion for the career late in Year 12 and started in cabinet making and it led on from there to carpentry as a whole.”
Mr Cannon, 22, from Portland, completed his Certificate III in Carpentry with South West TAFE in October 2022 and was employed as an apprentice with Westvic Staffing Solutions.
He now works for Felk Building Group in Portland.
To win the competition, Mr Cannon competed against apprentices from around Australia.
“We were given a set of plans and had to interpret them and build a complex garden gazebo in 18 hours, and we also had a pallet building speed test,” he said.
He sees a long career in the field. “It’s very versatile,” he said. “There’s always a different problem arising that needs complex solving that takes dedication and skill of the craft.”
The award is the pinnacle so far in his career.
“Getting told well done is great but standing in a pack of Australia’s best carpenters and to win above them means a lot to me and proves to myself how far I have come,” Mr Cannon said.
Building and Construction Teacher at SWTAFE, Brett Lake, who mentored Mr Cannon for the competition, said he deserved the accolades.
“Jayme has a real passion for the trade, a positive attitude, a great ability to think his way through situations and takes a lot of pride in his work.
“He deserves all the accolades that come his way and any opportunities that come on the back of this success.”
Other South West TAFE students Sophie Harry (beauty), Chloe Graham (cookery) and Archie Wilder (engineering) reached the finals of the championships and competed at the weekend.
South West TAFE was also one of three finalists in the Large Training Provider of the Year and in the Industry Collaboration Award that were presented last Friday night at the Victorian Training Awards.