What does it take to win Australia's Best Young Locksmith Competition?
It means a lot more than just locks and keys, it's about 'educating customers on the latest security, technical knowledge and business skills'.
All these qualities are what Lithgow's Joel Gurney of JG Lock Safe & Security has as he took out the ninth annual Australia's Best Young Locksmith competition.
The award was created by LSC Security Supplies, Australia's leading security wholesaler, to recognise the important role young locksmiths play in shaping the future of the industry.
When Mr Gurney found out he won the award he was very excited.
"I was stoked to receive this award, to know that out of all the quality locksmiths in our industry, the things our team have been doing in Lithgow has been recognised is amazing," he said.
"This is by far one of my biggest achievements in my career as a locksmith."
Mr Gurney was nominated by one of his business' sales representatives.
"I was then sent a questionnaire which I completed, I was then asked to do an interview with the committee who decides who gets the award," he said.
Mr Gurney started his apprenticeship back in 2013 and over the past eight years has worked his way up to owning his own locksmith business.
"I enjoy working with our team, we are a close group with all the same goals so it is really just a pleasure to work with them," he said.
"I also enjoy offering people a service in which they can feel safe and secure."
ABYL judge and CEO of LSC Mark Johnson said now more than ever, customers are looking for knowledge.
"Customers are looking to locksmiths to educate them on the latest security innovations, including access control, CCTV, alarms and contactless security solutions," he said.
According to Mr Johnson, Mr Gurney stood out to this year's panel of industry experts as a well-rounded applicant.
"He not only possessed great technical knowledge but also has excellent people skills and business acumen," he said.
"Young locksmiths like Joel do a great job of keeping homes and businesses secure, and I'm sure he will make an excellent ambassador for our industry in 2021."
Mr Gurney and his partner are scheduled to travel to Melbourne in early 2021 to accept his trophy and prize pack.
The pair will be hosted by LSC during their stay in Melbourne and will be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of several industry-renowned manufacturing sites.
"I've never been to Melbourne so that will be an amazing experience, I'm very excited to get down to the LSC DC and see where all our products come from," he said.
Mr Gurney said he wanted to thank LSC and all the sponsors of the award.
"I would like to thank Lithgow community and all our customers because without them this would not be possible," he said.
"I would also like to thank the talented JG team of Jarrod Baker, Vanessa Miller, Isaiah Wren and Chelsea Conran."
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