Some of Hayden’s fondest childhood memories involve holding a torch as his dad, grandad and pop tinkered under the bonnet of a car. The family connection and the ability to bring something broken back to life is what led the apprentice mechanic to study a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Automotive with North Metropolitan TAFE.
With on-the-job learning at mycar, Hayden has helped induct and teach new team members about safety, work practices and methods of fixing cars, and recognises that technology is moving quickly.
Joann Knight, Brabham: Heavy Mobile Equipment
Visiting Kalgoorlie’s ‘super pit’ as a child and seeing all of the machines in action was enough to convince Joann of a career in mechanics. She followed her childhood dream, completing an apprenticeship as a mobile plant mechanic and landed a job with BHP.
Joann was open to every opportunity as she completed the Automotive Technician (Heavy Mobile Equipment) course through the Westrac Institute, and wanted to show that women can work and achieve their dreams in a male-dominated industry.
Stacey-Lee always loved pulling things apart to see how they worked, so much so that at the age of 12 she started building bicycles. After years working in painting, mining, hospitality management and government administration, Stacey Lee’s determination to pursue a career she is truly passionate about has come full circle, completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Mechanical Fitter) through South Metropolitan TAFE, and she is just shy of achieving her Diploma in Engineering.
Stacey-Lee has had to battle health issues throughout her studies, making her achievement of winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year 2020 even more special.
Christian Ferrone, Bayswater: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
A curiosity for how things work and a love of aeroplanes led Christian to pursue a career as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. Now employed by ExecuJet MRO Services Australia – where he completed his apprenticeship – the course taught him how to safely maintain gas turbine and propeller driven fixed wing aircraft.
Christian completed the Diploma in Aeroskills (Mechanical) with a 95 per cent course average and was in the first cohort of WA apprentices through RTO Aviation Australia.
Now a mentor for other apprentices coming through, Christian knows teamwork is an essential part of the aviation industry.
WA Trainee of the Year Finalists
Bonnie Barber, Bridgetown: Administration
Bonnie knew she wanted to join the mining industry when she was in her final year of school, but she did not know which career pathway to follow with the many options available in the sector.
An administration traineeship through Combined Team Services and working with Talison Lithium gave her the perfect mix of support and resources, and she found the ability to study and work a full-time job attractive.
Bonnie says the Certificate IV in Business qualification and hands-on experience has set her up for a fulfilling career working in a field she is passionate about, and she has now accepted a new position as Human Resource Administration Assistant working in her dream professional field.
Amber Ugle-Hayward, Karrinyup: Government
Wanting to pursue a career that was meaningful, challenging and would make a positive impact on the lives of many Western Australians, Amber applied for the Public Sector Commission’s Aboriginal Traineeship Program, knowing it would give her a ‘foot in the door’ to government. Amber has made the most of her placement with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, gaining practical knowledge while completing a Certificate III in Government through Aspire Performance Training.
Throughout the traineeship, Amber has proactively sought opportunities to further her career and expand networks, establishing a reputation as a highly competent team member who consistently displays leadership, collaboration, respect and integrity.
Amber says the experience has allowed her to develop her confidence and communication skills to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture within the State Government, and directly influence the department’s internal policies.
Vikki Doecke, Kelmscott: Leadership and Management
Passionate about food and hospitality since becoming a chef in her early 20s, Vikki wanted to stay in the industry but broaden her career. Initially afraid to make the change into management, Vikki says she finally started living life on her terms.
A Certificate IV in Leadership and Management through Stanborough Wemyss Contracting was the perfect training alongside her Assistant Village Manager role with Sodexo, which provides catering and managing services at mine sites.
The course developed Vikki’s leadership skills so much so that she is now Village Manager of the Wintamarra site and thoroughly enjoys applying all of her past experience with her newly acquired skills.
WA Vocational Student of the Year finalists
Maxine Turner, Fremantle: Community Services
Volunteering throughout India and Vietnam helping disadvantaged children and families guided Maxine towards her chosen career. Completing a Diploma of Community Services through North Metropolitan TAFE led Maxine to gaining full-time work at the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support, following a successful work experience stint.
Maxine now gets to carry out her passion for helping those in need on a daily basis, using the skills and knowledge obtained through her course in her role as a residential worker.
Nerine Boulter, White Gum Valley: Aquaculture
Returning to study as a mature age student gave Nerine a passion for learning that she had not experienced before. Her enthusiasm for sustainable aquaculture has been ignited during completion of the Diploma of Aquaculture at South Metropolitan TAFE, where has excelled, nominated for the South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year in 2019 and 2020.
Nerine hopes to build her own sustainable, environmentally friendly business, growing and harvesting native seaweed for use in health foods, animal feed, cosmetics, bio-plastics and bio-fuel.
Meg Maroni, Albany: Information Technology
Achieving a better future for her local community by implementing and demonstrating digital technologies led Meg to complete her Certificate IV in Information Technology at South Regional TAFE.
Now employed in the industry as the Technical Support Officer for Little Grove Primary School, Meg applies the skills gained in her studies every day to the upkeep of the school’s physical and networking digital infrastructure, and maintenance of implemented systems and software. Meg also assists teaching staff to design class exercises and assignments to fulfil their digital curriculum, and is now tutoring a student carrying out the same course she successfully completed.
Zoe Tucker, Bayswater: Landscape Design
Twenty years after leaving school, Zoe finally feels like she has found her pathway. Finding traditional work roles not conducive to family life, the single mother of three took the plunge towards a new career and followed her passion, studying a Certificate IV in Landscape Design – a perfect fit for a creative person with a love of plants and nature and background in architecture.
Zoe has not looked back, winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year 2020 and relishing the opportunity to create greener spaces.
WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year 2021 finalists
Kevin Wilson, Victoria Park: Graphic Design
Growing up as a Wongai man from the Goldfields region, Kevin has had an interest in art for as long as he can remember. After a few years and a few too many run-ins with police, he decided he could not keep going down that path, so he signed up for an apprenticeship in print finishing at North Metropolitan TAFE, which was just the beginning of his TAFE journey. After completing his Diploma in Graphic Design, he continued on to the Advanced Diploma, becoming more confident in himself, his work and how he speaks about it. Kevin says he feels like he has found his calling in life, and since finishing has gone on to co-found Nani Creative, a graphic design company specialising in design for projects promoting Aboriginal tourism.
Grant Syron, Como: Maritime Operations
Sailing the seas may not be for everyone, but for Grant, pursuing a maritime career was an opportunity to see the world, meet new people and have a new challenge every day. From growing up in a Sydney housing commission, Grant says he had wonderful role models in his hard-working parents, who showed him anything is achievable if you put your mind to it.
After completing the Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) through South Metropolitan TAFE, Grant has gone on to become a second officer, with his qualification allowing him to travel the world working on any ship.
Grant’s hard work and commitment is an inspiration to the whole community, and he has ambitions to take his studies and career development even further, with his long-term goal of becoming a Master Mariner.
Keira Gentle, Ridgewood: Fashion Design and Merchandising
From a young age Keira wanted to design clothes, and after a massive life turn around she decided to take a leap and enrol in a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising at North Metropolitan TAFE. Juggling full-time study with being mum to her daughter, Keira said she has not looked back and is living her dream daily, with the opportunity to explore her creative side and the routine of study giving her the strength to manage her time and provide balance in her life.
Most importantly, studying the course has sparked her creative side that was always there but needed to be developed and nurtured.
Keira says that connection to creativity has been life changing, and she can now see a future where she can work in an industry that she loves, and has all the skills needed to develop a satisfying and challenging career.
Losing his father at the age of 13, Sterling did not know what he wanted to do with his life, but had the mental push to make his dad proud. Making the most of every opportunity that came his way, he jumped at the chance to take up an apprenticeship through South Metropolitan TAFE and the National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS), completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician.
His journey in the oil and gas sector has given him valuable life skills as well as experience in a thriving sector. Sterling has been a strong ambassador and role model, assisting younger apprentices and promoting the NETTS program by public speaking at schools.
WA School-based Apprentice of the Year finalists
Courtney Short, Ellenbrook: Commercial Cookery
Preparing meals with and for her family has always brought great joy to Courtney, so it seemed a natural fit to pursue her love of cooking at the age of 15, commencing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.
Successfully juggling her school work at Mercy College with an apprenticeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, Courtney says the knowledge and skills she has already developed by working alongside chefs at Pan Pacific Hotel (through Hospitality Group Training) are essential for working in the industry.
Now aged 17, Courtney is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a chef and she is so pleased she followed a VET pathway.
Taj Morris, Glenfield: Commercial Cookery
Working as a waiter in his nan and pop’s family restaurant gave Taj his first taste of the hospitality industry. With his mother and two uncles all chefs, cooking is in his blood, so it was an easy choice for Taj to do a school-based apprenticeship, taking on a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Geraldton’s Central Regional TAFE.
Taj says with a chef qualification he knows he will have many future employment opportunities and feels that the chance to learn practical industry skills while still studying at Nagle Catholic College has prepared him well.
Samantha Winter, Lower Chittering: Government
In Year 10 and unsure of what career pathway to pursue, Samantha heard about the Certificate II in Government through the Public Sector Commission’s school-based traineeship. Seeing it as a great opportunity, Samantha started the traineeship through Aspire Performance Training.
Juggling Year 12 at Bullsbrook College three days a week, a large portion of Samantha’s training is done on the job at Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
Samantha sees it as a major head start in the workforce, broadening her knowledge, making connections and gaining independence and confidence.
WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2021 finalists
Marli Nicholls, Carlisle: English as an Additional Language
With knowledge and experience already gained from her home country Brazil, Marli knew that the language barrier was the only thing in her way when relocating to Perth with her Australian husband and their children.
Marli decided to take English classes to start her new life here, enrolling in Certificate IV EAL (English as an Additional Language) at South Metropolitan TAFE, to help her work, connect with people, make new friends and participate in the local community and her children’s school.
Marli says her course has offered her so much more than language skills, gaining self-confidence, time management, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills.
Agnes Toluwade, Leeming: Mental Health
Migrating from Nigeria in 2015, the first time Agnes heard about the suicide of a teenager on the news, she was jolted. Determined to take action and contribute to her new home country, Agnes decided to study a Certificate IV in Mental Health and be part of the solution for a mentally healthy Australia.
The course at North Metropolitan TAFE has helped her understand the many issues that impact on mental health and the ways to support people’s recovery.
Agnes has crossed several barriers to pursue her study and hopes that others in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities will see that studying at TAFE offers many opportunities.
WA International Student of the Year finalists
Johanna Faber, Yokine: Travel and Tourism
Johanna has always been passionate about travelling, so when she came to Australia from Germany in 2017 and fell in love with the country, she decided she wanted a career in travel and tourism.
By studying in a different country, Johanna felt it would offer her the opportunity of experiencing travel and tourism first-hand, taking part in a different culture and learning a new language while completing her course – a Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management at North Metropolitan TAFE.
Studying allowed Johanna to gain confidence in communicating in English while learning the many facets of the industry, and she was able to land a job as a travel consultant. While COVID-19 forced the closure of the office, it has not deterred Johanna from working in the industry.
Shalynn Buss, Lathlain: Event Management
Back in Canada in 2014, Shalynn was studying Business Administration to become a lawyer. During her studies she took an introduction to events elective course, which sparked her love of creating something out of nothing that brought people together. Fast forward to July 2020, she finally took the plunge into formalising her passion, starting a Diploma of Event Management through South Metropolitan TAFE.
Experience has shown Shalynn she learns best in vocational settings, continually challenging herself and demonstrating her skills and abilities in real-world scenarios, which lead to winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s International Student of the Year 2020.
Shalynn has been putting her industry knowledge into practice, working for a small wedding and event business, and she hopes to one day own her own wedding planning business.
Aurelie Jammes, Scarborough: Event Management
With a Masters degree in Events, Tourism and Hospitality and experience working around the world, French native Aurelie was employed at a winery in the Swan Valley when she realised she enjoyed in-house events. When COVID-19 hit she did not let losing her job get in the way, taking the opportunity to enhance her knowledge about this part of the industry by starting a Diploma of Event Management at South Metropolitan TAFE.
Aurelie says it was the best decision she ever made, now working as a hotel event operations supervisor. Aurelie is also an ambassador for Go Study, sharing her challenges and achievements as in international student in Australia.
Congratulations ongetting to the finals. Good Luck
If you want to go into a building trade the job prospects are great, the pay is a whole lot better than aged or child care and you have opportunities to go into design, running your own business or project management.
If you would like working in building trades start looking at the big companies first. They are the ones with systems in place that reduce sexism and they try to make workplaces fair.
Students who hate school might want to try their luck at getting an apprenticeship while the employer subsidies are available and the building industry is booming.
You are allowed to leave school early if you go into a job or into training. An apprenticeship is a job WITH training.
Become part of the Network of West Australian professionals who are working to deliver the best career guidance in the world.
Subscribe to the Infocus Careers Newsletter as your first step towards linking to a world of insanely great career ideas.
Infocus Careers is an independent organisation which is solely supported by insanely great subscribers who share information with me, support each other and help me to pay my bills.
I can talk about careers under water so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au
Oscar Winter chose to go to Morley SHS where they run a specialist multimedia and broadcasting program. He loved it. By the end of the course in year 10 he had started up his own website building business.
His mates at Morley were doing the special aviation program. It sounded brilliant so in year 11 & 12 Oscar joined his friends in the course.
Oscar was good at maths and loves thinking through things logically. The course included mapping, planning, problem solving, meteorology and physics. It was perfect for him.
His interest in aviation became a passion. He really wanted to work in aircraft maintenance.
In year 12 Oscar:
got help to put together his resume and a cover letter. It identifies a host of short courses, leadership roles, extra-curricular activities, and his work history. This really is a resume to be proud of.
sent his resume and covering letter out across the network he had built up while at school.
searched online for companies in WA that would possibly employ him as an apprentice and sent his resume to them.
got his family to contact people in their network to see if there were any leads for potential jobs.
Oscar got an offer of work experience at one of the companies he had contacted, and he is following up with the other companies he had written to.
He is now:
checking with Centrelink to see what help they provide
checking with Centrelink to find if he can get insurance cover from somewhere if he goes on work experience
In 2017 I paid $120 to a plumber to replace a washer on the garden tap. (The tap was stuck. I was going to break the pipe. Stay with me on this!!)
It took him less than a minute and that included going to his van and getting the washer. Then he charged me $120!
So plumbers had the expectation of getting paid about the same rate as a surgeon.
Due to the exorbitant rates charged by plumbers during the boom there was a rush of young guys taking on plumbing apprenticeships. Everyone with capacity to train plumbers took on the apprentices and pumped them out. Now there are unemployed qualified plumbers working as trades assistants and doing cash jobs for family and friends.
Employers were able to attract job qualified plumbers with a minimum of four years post-apprenticeship experience.
What Employers Ask For
Most vacancies required applicants with some specialist experience, such as roof plumbing, undertaking drainage works, fit outs or renovations. Employers often sought applicants with additional accreditation in backflow prevention and a gas-fitting licence.
Employers also required applicants to be solutions focused, demonstrate a high standard of workmanship, resourcefulness, the ability to work well with colleagues and engage professionally with clients.
Sense of humor and sainthood preferred!!
It was standard for applicants to have a drivers licence and their own transport, a police clearance, a White Card and pass a drug and alcohol test.
Applicants were most often deemed unsuitable due to a lack of overall experience in the trade, or a lack of experience in a sub-specialty or particular environment (e.g. mining sector experience).
Applicants whose resumes were poorly presented (for example, not tailored to the job requirements or that failed to demonstrate good literacy skills) were deemed unsuitable, as were those with uneven work histories and poor references.
Applicants who were unwilling to relocate were deemed unsuitable for regional vacancies.
Bottom line??? Getting an apprenticeship or traineeship IS getting a job… with low pay and lots of training…. which is usually paid for by the employer.
Difference between Apprentices and Trainees
When you complete your apprenticeship or traineeship you are qualified to work in your field, at your chosen qualification level.
An apprentice is a qualified tradesperson (painter, electrician etc).
A trainee is qualified in their chosen field (IT, hospitality, mining, child care etc).
Step 1 Discover what Apprenticeship/Traineeship you want
If you don’t have a career advisor at school go to one of the Jobs and Skills Centres and ask for help to find a career that matches your abilities and what you like. These Centres are West Australia’s first point of call for people wanting career help.
Once you know what road you want to take you need to find someone who will give you a chance to get started.
Step 2 Develop Your Resume
If you are a school leaver you may not have much to put into your application. Google helps you to put together a resume HERE. Youth Central is a Victorian Government site that has job application writing advice for school students from Year 10.
Step 3 Find a Job
If you haven’t been to a Jobs and Skills Centre yet, go now. They will help you to be confident about your career choice, they will check your resume and they will explain the differences between direct employment and employment by a Group Training Organisation.
Many jobs aren’t advertised. Let your extended family know you are looking for an apprenticeship or traineeship in … whatever your choose…..and ask them to ask their friends if they know of anything. You may be lucky to find someone you know who will give you a chance.
Check Job Ads
Go online and look for jobs in the field you are interested in. Check out Seek, Jora or Indeed.
Go to a Group Training Organisation
Group Training Organisations employ apprentices and trainees and place them with one or more host employers. You can be rotated around different jobs in one big host organisation like BHP or government or you can be rotated around a number of small employers to help you to get experience across the industry.
You can find a Group Training Organisation near you by checking HERE .
Group Training Organisations have job boards where they advertise apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.
The Group Training Organisation will:
Provide mentor support to job seekers.
Select which applicant to employ for each position.
Place them with host employers.
Pay the wages, any allowances, superannuation, holiday pay etc.
Make sure good quality training is happening, both on the job and off the job at TAFE.
Care for apprentices/trainees and host employers.
Step 4 Go for Job Interviews
There is plenty of online help to improve your interview skills.
Plain English is NOT a language people in training use. I worked in training for years and still have trouble understanding what on earth they are on about half the time. These are some of the words you will hear when talking about training. I hope the explanations help you to crack the TAFE word code.
This is entry level training that gives foundation skills. Anyone who graduates from high school will have qualifications above Cert I
Entry level for many vocational occupations. Graduates of Cert II will have a basic understanding of the job.
This is getting into the vocation with much more skill. A licensed electrician has a Cert III and it usually takes 4 years to complete the apprenticeship.
This is getting into management roles. A Cert IV holder will have sound skills in a vocational area and have enough knowledge of the industry to start exercising sound judgement and solve problems.
Diplomas demonstrate high level of specialised vocational knowledge and skills in an industry. Workers may choose to study a Diploma in order to gain management skills for a vocation. The high level of competence of diploma holders is often recognised by universities which award credit for study in a degree program.
Graduates at this level will have broad knowledge and be highly skilled for work in a vocation. These are high level vocational skills. The knowledge can usually be transferred to academic qualifications like a bachelor’s degree.
Recognition of Prior Learning. You can apply to have skills you learned in the workplace recognised in order to get a qualification.
Registered Training Organisation. A college that is registered by government to deliver certified training. It could be a TAFE (government) college or a private company.
State Priority Occupation List. This list shows government where there will be skills shortages and therefore where it should give the greatest subsidies for courses.
Technical and Further Education – This often gets used to describe training e.g. “I go to TAFE” meaning I am doing a training course. You may also hear the word “tech” used in the same way.
It is also a word to describe a government training organisation. e.g. South Metro TAFE
Vocational Education and Training. This is often used by people in the training industry. Students would probably say they are doing a “TAFE” course rather than doing a “VET” course.
Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Apprenticeships tend to be in traditional trades like plumbing and traineeships are in non-trade areas like business.
They both involve:
– a combination of work and study.
– finding an employer who is willing for you to go to college 1 day per week or in blocks of study a couple of times a year
– getting on the job training
– getting paid a training wage while you get your qualification
A pre-apprenticeship is a Certificate II program that includes a period of workplace experience coordinated by a training provider. The aim is to provide you with industry specific training, combined with adequate time in a real workplace to gain skills, knowledge and behaviours to enable transition into a full apprenticeship.
A pre apprenticeship is often a pathway to an apprenticeship as employers call lecturers and ask them to recommend a good student to employ.
TIPS for getting a pre apprenticeship:
When applying for a Pre Apprenticeship you may need to do an interview. Take along photos of your work in a portfolio to impress the interview panel. Dress in the sort of clothes they would wear to work, office clothes for an office job, and smart casual for a building trade.
Sporting and volunteer experience as well as school results and industry experience will help to impress the panel.
Places in pre apprenticeships are usually limited so you should prepare well for the interview.
Group Training Organisation
Group training organisations are employers of apprentices and trainees.
They were started up when there was a shortage apprenticeships and traineeships. Their role was to coordinate a group of small businesses who may have been able to employ an apprentice plumber for example for one day per week.
By hiring an apprentice and coordinating their work across a number of employers the number of people able to gain a qualification increased.
Today apprentices and trainees may be employed by a group training organisation and find themselves employed full time with one employer who prefers to have all of the government papers and qualifications managed by an expert organisation.
A course is made up of a number of units. A unit is a block of skills grouped together within a course.
For example, there is a Certificate I Business Communications course made up of 6 Units including the Unit Apply basic communication skills.
A competency is a skill you are required to learn. It is made up of an element of competency and performance criteria.
e.g. Element Identify workplace communication procedures.
Performance Criteria Identify appropriate lines of communication with supervisors and colleagues
Hofmann Engineering is based in Ashfield and employ 600 people around the world. They sell steel machinery to China, supply machinery to the mining industry and do detailed precision work like refining parts for Collins-class submarines and fighter jets.
Hofmann apprentices are required to undertake a Diploma in Engineering as part of their apprenticeship.
FREE: I am happy to read your application before you send it in.
The Skills Expo starts tomorrow and runs through to Sunday 14th August. If you are coming down on Sunday come and say HI. I will be on the Career Development Association of Australia stand giving free career advice or running a Resume Tips workshop.