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Pipe dream changes Lachlan's life

For Lachlan Blow, school was tough. He often skipped class, got expelled numerous times, and moved from school to school in hopes of getting on the right track.

“I didn't like school at all. I felt like I wasn't good enough to do anything — I had no confidence or direction,” said Lachlan.

This was concerning for his loving and supportive family, who encouraged Lachlan to try a TAFE at School course to keep him busy and perhaps ignite his love of learning.

Lachlan’s mother, Deb Blow said it was hard to see her son disengaged and lacking enthusiasm for school.

“As a mother it’s heartbreaking when your child has little sense of self worth, but I knew I just had to help him find something he enjoyed while building his skills and confidence,” said Ms Blow.

While still in high school, Lachlan enrolled into a Certificate II in plumbing (52700WA) at TAFE Queensland’s Ashmore campus and for the first time, he enjoyed learning and felt like he belonged.

The now 20-year-old is just weeks away from completing a four-year plumbing apprenticeship and said his life changed the moment he picked up the tools.

“Since starting at TAFE Queensland my life has changed, and through encouragement from my teachers I found the confidence to pursue an apprenticeship,” said Lachlan.

“I now have goals and dreams that I once never thought were possible.”

Compared to his high school experience, Lachlan said the TAFE Queensland learning environment is supportive and inspiring.

“I always struggled to ask for help, but my TAFE teachers gave me reassurance that no question was too silly, and with that I gained the confidence to speak up when I needed guidance,” said Lachlan.

Lachlan was taken on as an apprentice by Todd’s Plumbing and Electrical under the State Governments Free Apprenticeships for under 25s funding.

“Todd has made me the best plumber possible with his wealth of experience and patience to show me the ropes on general and specialised jobs,” said Lachlan.

“As a plumber, each day is different and it’s a great feeling to work closely in a team of likeminded people.”

Apart from being a passionate plumber, Lachlan who is a proud Indigenous man enjoys camping, fishing and four-wheel driving and has ambitions to one day own his own business that delivers excellent customer service.

To other young people looking for direction or a new learning experience, Lachlan said consider starting a TAFE at School program or an apprenticeship.

“An apprenticeship is the best thing in the world to do — you will never look back. It will open up possibilities you may not have thought were possible."

“Believe in yourself, take opportunities, don’t be scared, and give it all you've got to reap the rewards.”