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Tenesha’s big brother inspires her career choice

TAFE Queensland electrotechnology apprentice, Tenesha Trunks, was inspired to follow in her brother Caleb’s career footsteps after graduating high school.

Caleb had just completed the first year of his electrical apprenticeship and Tenesha, a hands-on, outdoor adventure-type, saw how much her big brother was enjoying his trade, so she jumped right in to do the same.

“My brother was coming into his second year as an electrical apprentice, and he really loved it. He's (now) just qualified,” said Tenesha.

“I’m proud of him for that, hence why it's made me keep going and get really into it.”

Now into the second year of a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30820) apprenticeship, Tenesha's training is subsidised by the Queensland Government’s Free apprenticeships for under 25s program, and she completes the block training components of her qualification in the fully-equipped electrical training facilities at TAFE Queensland’s Kingaroy campus.

“Astill’s Electrical, my employer, has always gone through TAFE Queensland, and they really praise the teachers. I think we've all been happy to come to the Kingaroy campus for training,” said Tenesha, who lives in Wondai, a 25-minute commute from the campus.

“We do our practical assessments and learning on campus, and it's just like being in the real world — it’s got all the same stuff.”

“We usually do two-week (block training) stints, three to four times a year, depending on the year of your apprenticeship that you’re in.”

“Phillip, our teacher, is really good. He loves to share stories about his old times of being a sparky, which is really cool. He’s really hands-on and he’s really helpful,” Tenesha continued.

“I enjoy it — there’s a lot to learn — a lot to take in, and just getting better at what I'm doing is good. This year we’re doing a lot of domestic/residential work such as hot water, fault-finding, solar fix-ups and installs. I love the opportunity to learn everything,” said Tenesha.

Tenesha (and Caleb) are the first in their family to explore the electrical trade — their mum is a chef and their father drives freight trucks. Outside of working and training Tenesha enjoys fishing, camping with her friends and racing go-karts.

Tenesha encourages her peers who may be contemplating an apprenticeship and shares her top tips for getting started in the electrical trade.

“Oh, definitely do it. And if you’re not enjoying it, you can always change. You can always try something different. There are so many varieties of courses at TAFE Queensland, so pick and choose as you please,” Tenesha offered.

“Oh and another tip — always test everything before starting work on it — no one wants to get zapped. And get yourselves the tools of the trade — definitely pliers and a flat screwdriver. They’re handy every single day. And an impact driver, too. Who wants to be sitting there ‘screwing up’ for the whole day?” ended Tenesha.

And as for what greatness means to Tenesha? 

“Greatness is being the best me I can be.”