The Capricorn Rising Stars trophy is heading to New Zealand

Hailing from Rangiora, North Canterbury, apprentice Ben Brown has demonstrated outstanding problem-solving capacity, commitment to excellence and a genuine love for automotive, to be named the 2021 Capricorn Rising Stars, Apprentice of the Year.
Capricorn Rising Stars is an initiative to recognise and reward Australasia’s top-performing apprentices so they may be retained in the industry long-term. These are apprentices who show initiative in their business, eagerness to learn and commitment to the automotive industry.
By recognising the contribution of automotive apprentices and the bright careers they have ahead of them, Capricorn aims to help its Members continue to attract the best talent and keep more qualified repairers working in the industry. 
To claim the award, Ben beat out a record setting 600-plus apprentices who were nominated in 2021. This includes some truly outstanding candidates from a broad array of industry sectors including panel and paint, auto electrical, commercial/heavy diesel, tyre/wheel and general mechanical workshops located across Australia and New Zealand.  
Capricorn Chief Executive Officer Automotive, Brad Gannon, said the number and high quality of nominations was a positive sign for the industry.  
“It is clear the future is in safe hands with so many outstanding apprentices being nominated by Capricorn Member workshops. The record number of applications is also a tribute to the resilience and strength of our Members’ businesses that have continued to develop tomorrow’s qualified repairers in a year of disruption,” Brad said.
“We at Capricorn look forward to helping these Members to strengthen their businesses further, to thrive not survive, in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Truly, we are stronger together.”  
CWR Motorsport’s Mel Ward described Ben as the perfect fit for their workshop.  
“We took on Ben our apprentice in August 2020. To say the least, it is the best thing we have done. Ben has a fantastic work ethic, he is polite, and great with the customers,” Mel said.
“He is passionate about not only his mechanic side of the job, but also has a lot of ideas and vision to help us to grow our business. He has proved to be invaluable, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.”
These sentiments were echoed by Ben who attributed much of his success to the support received by his employers at CWR Motorsport. 
“Chris Ward is well known in the motorsport field, and equally regarded as an honest, professional, and remarkably skilful automotive engineer. This has afforded me learning opportunities I didn’t know existed, developing skills I had only dreamt of, working amidst the motorsport sector,” Ben said.
“I firmly believe it’s all about perspective and attitude. I have an appetite for knowledge and a passion to be the best at what I do. I treat every job as an opportunity to develop my skillset and knowledge. By doing this I hope to become the best technician possible.” 
As the 2021 Capricorn Rising Star, Ben will receive $5,000 from Castrol. The CWR Motorsport team will also benefit from enrolment in the Workshop Whisperer’s Service Advisor Pro online program.
Capricorn congratulates Ben and all the Capricorn Rising Star nominees who are sure to be industry leaders of the future.  
Capricorn also gives its thanks to Capricorn Preferred Suppliers and program sponsors Castrol, Repco and The Workshop Whisperer for their continued support. 
Look out for Capricorn Rising Stars to return in 2022 as Capricorn seeks to support their Members to recognise, reward and retain more outstanding apprentices. 

To join Capricorn and benefit from membership in Australasia’s largest cooperative, call 1800 327 437 or visit