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Lachlan charges up his electrotechnology career with TAFE at School

NRG Services air conditioning and refrigeration apprentice, Lachlan Debel, is enjoying a cool career opportunity after completing the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22020) TAFE at School course during his senior studies.

Lachlan, 18, participated in a school-based partnership training program between TAFE Queensland and NRG Services, which involved ten Toowoomba Grammar School and St Mary’s College, Toowoomba, students completing the course one day a week on campus.

The theory components of the course were complemented by time spent building two cold rooms on site at NRG Services, under the guidance of the company’s skilled tradespeople.

The experience led the St Mary’s College Vice-Captain to reconsider his plans to study electrical engineering at university after high school.

“I was quite talented at academic work, but I never truly had a passion for it,” Lachlan explained.

“But I do enjoy the hands-on, practical work combined with the theory elements that TAFE Queensland provides.”

Gaining valuable insight into the trade, Lachlan was impressed by the variety of work opportunities on offer at NRG Services and he jumped at the chance of an apprenticeship with the company.

“Working in the refrigeration industry gives you hands-on knowledge of a lot of trades, acting as a jack-of-all-trades, rather than a master of one,” said Lachlan.

“Plus, I love the variety and the people you meet.”

Lachlan praised his TAFE Queensland Electrotechnology Teacher, Louis Fairbairn, who helped guide him through the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22020) course units.

“My TAFE Queensland teacher, Louis, was phenomenal. He always re-explained and articulated the course to us whenever we needed it,” he said.

“He was a brilliant teacher, and I really enjoyed learning from him.”

Designed for year 10, 11 or 12 students, TAFE at School courses are available in a variety of certificate I to certificate III courses in study areas from hospitality to horticulture, early childhood education to engineering, and Lachlan encourages high schoolers to give it a go.

“Do it, it's worth your time absolutely, and it's an experience you won't understand until you try it,” he advised.

TAFE at School programs delivered in partnership with local businesses offer a range of benefits for both the participants and the organisations involved, and are an important workforce development strategy, particularly in industries with a high demand for workers. Furthermore, TAFE at School graduates benefit from joining the workforce sooner, building practical skills or gaining a head start on further study.