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Jackson fast tracks career path with TAFE at School

Jackson Smith is on the road to his dream job as a diesel mechanic after undertaking vocational studies while he completed high school at Nanango State High School.  

An avid automotive enthusiast looking to follow in his big brother’s career footsteps, Jackson completed the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation (AUR20720) and Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology (AUR20420) TAFE at School courses at the Kingaroy campus.

“I love mucking around on the tools,” Jackson explained.

“My brother is a diesel mechanic and when I was about 12, he had a Nissan Patrol and I would help him re-build the engine,” he said.

Jackson gained insight into what it’s like to work in the automotive trade as an apprentice during the course and encourages other high school students to give it a go.

“Studying at TAFE Queensland while I was at school was a really good stepping stone into the trade,” he advised.

Jackson has recently secured an apprenticeship at Western Truck Group on the Sunshine Coast.

TAFE Queensland’s TAFE at School program offers high school students the opportunity to undertake a nationally-recognised qualification, while potentially gaining Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) credit points, and direct entry into TAFE Queensland courses after they finish school.

TAFE Queensland Regional Director of the Burnett, Sheldon Becker, said regional families and business are realising the value of vocational training in high school.

“We’ve seen a 26 per cent increase in 2023 TAFE at School course enrolments in comparison to 2022, and to meet local industry demand we’ve recently introduced production horticulture and childcare courses,” he said.

TAFE Queensland is also offering a new approach for students wanting to pursue a school-based apprenticeships and traineeships (SAT).

“High school students gain valuable skills working alongside professionals or tradespeople during a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, and they’re earning an income to help fuel their career journey,” Mr Becker said.

“Working with local businesses and schools, this type of training links students with a local employer and may lead to future employment upon completion, while employers benefit from addressing workforce development challenges.” 

“For employers, hiring a school-based apprentice or trainee can boost their workforce, and our industry-qualified educators and educational designers can customise training to suit the organisation’s needs and increase efficiency.”