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Kenji's gearing up for a diesel fitting career

TAFE at School is helping 17-year-old Kenji Mabuhay kick start his trade career in engineering.

Kenji isn't your typical teenager. He spends week-long stints 120 kilometres away from home to participate in TAFE Queensland's TAFE at School program via block training.

Kenji, 17, lives in Cloncurry and travels to the Mount Isa campus for his Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (MEM20413) training.

"When I heard about TAFE at School I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity, and I am lucky that I can board in Mount Isa while studying away from home," Kenji said.

"I drive myself from Cloncurry to Mount Isa on Sundays, ready for a Monday start. Travelling’s no problem, I just listen to my music and enjoy the drive."

"It honestly feels good to be a little independent and to be responsible for getting myself organised as those skills will help me out when I leave school at the end of the year."

TAFE at School provides eligible Year 11 or 12 students with the opportunity to complete a nationally-recognised qualification at TAFE Queensland while they're still at school.

Kenji said he enjoyed his hands-on TAFE at School training.

"I'm learning how to use a range of basic tools and machines and how to pull apart and re-assemble engineering mechanisms. I've also learned how to cut metal with oxy and I've been exposed to soldering," he continued.

"This course is also helping me to develop a career plan and gain effective communication and organisation skills."

Kenji said TAFE at School offers trade-focused students like him a career head start.

"My dad's a diesel fitter and he has a lot of industry experience. He's the reason why I decided to become a diesel fitter, because from a young age he exposed me to the trade and got me interested in the field," Kenji said.

"I want to go straight into work after I graduate high school, so that's why I chose to do TAFE at School as it'll help set me up for what I'm going to do after Year 12. When I finish high school I am hoping to secure a diesel fitting apprenticeship and maybe work in mining."