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From reality star to carpentry apprentice

Rhys Bennett enrolled in a TAFE Queensland carpentry apprenticeship after starring in home renovation reality show House Rules.

In 2020, Rhys Bennet quit his job running a nutrition store to star in Australian reality television show House Rules and has since moved into a Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30220) at TAFE Queensland.

While competing in the home renovation reality show, Rhys found such an admiration for the tradies he was working with that he decided to embark on his own apprenticeship at TAFE Queensland soon after.

Of all the trades, Rhys found he was most inspired by the carpenters he worked with on the show, “you put ideas to these carpenters and they just bring it to life in 7 days, it’s pretty inspiring.”

Rhys is completing his apprenticeship with Brisbane commercial construction company, Redline Commercial.

He had worked in coal mines, the fitness industry, and more before his time on television, but in reflection feels he may have always been destined for construction.

“It just inspired me to change career paths as well, my grandfather was a carpenter, my uncle was a carpenter and I think it was inevitable even though I denied it for so long,” Rhys said.

One year into his apprenticeship, Rhys was thoroughly impressed with the quality of training provided by TAFE Queensland.

“The teachers have been absolutely phenomenal and their knowledge base seems second to none,” said Rhys.

Rhys knows he will have to complete learning on some skills solely at TAFE Queensland, as in his current role he does not expect to work in all the varied areas of carpentry during his apprenticeship.

“I’ll have to bridge a lot through TAFE Queensland, and I think that will be an easy thing with all the knowledge that’s floating around here,” Rhys said.

Rhys is glad to have found his forever career now.

"For me it’s very much about that contribution feeling at the end of the day, feeling that there’s something tangible that I have contributed to or done myself. I think at the end of the day you can walk away and feel quite proud of yourself,” he said.

Like many in the industry, Rhys has noticed an increase in the amount of construction happening in Queensland and is eager to make use of the opportunities this increase provides workers like himself.

He eventually sees himself completing further TAFE Queensland study in order to move towards project management, but only once he is an experienced tradesperson.

“I just want to gain as many skills as possible through my apprenticeship and then work as a tradesman for a couple of years. Then I will start looking at options in terms of moving out of the on the tools roles and into possibly project management or something similar,” concluded Rhys.

In two short years, Rhys has gone from working in the fitness industry to reality television to now the construction industry and has found his feet in an industry that makes him feel fulfilled and excited for his coming years of work, including further study with TAFE Queensland.