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Davide’s smooth transition from defence to sparky

Davide Sargeant's professional trajectory serves as a compelling illustration of a seamless transition from military service in the Army to civilian employment as an apprentice electrician.

During his tenure at Gallipoli Barracks, Davide, 36, engaged with the TAFE Queensland Defence Solutions team, expressing his desire to pursue a career as an apprentice electrician. 

Fast forward to today, and Davide has completed a pre-vocational course and is five months into an apprenticeship with Brisbane-based Haines Electrical – a transition he describes as “seamless”. 

“I joined the military when I was 19. Several promotions later, the position and service requirements meant a lot of travel and potential relocation every two years or so. I was looking forward to a lifestyle change, my wife and I are about to start a family and I want to be around for that,” Davide said. 

Davide’s brother-in-law and a few of his mates had already commenced electrical apprenticeships and spoke very highly of both TAFE Queensland’s training and the electrical trade. So, Davide decided to pursue a career as an electrician. 

“I thought the people in the trade environment would be similar to that in the military as both roles have a similar hands-on type of approach and deadline-based objectives. Being a mature aged apprentice, I was taking a financial risk with this decision, however I know the end state prospects are worth it,” he said. 

“Everything pointed toward it being a good decision and I haven’t really looked back. I’ve learnt a lot in my first five months.” 

Davide, who held a senior role as a Platoon Sergeant at Anti-Armour Platoon, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, studied a Certificate II Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22020) with TAFE Queensland before securing his apprenticeship and commencing the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30820).  

“The transition from military into study and a new career hasn’t been without its challenges, but with assistance from Garry Hargreaves, whom I met at the TAFE Queensland stand at a transition seminar, I have been provided with multiple avenues of approach into the industry, contacts and guidance,” Davide said. 

“The Defence Solutions team were able to show me how to navigate the transition and have supported me every step of the way through training and employment. Garry and I still catch up for a brew every few months.” 

The Defence to Civilian Success Training Program builds on the Queensland Government’s commitment to supporting veterans at a time when they are looking to utilise their skills and move in a new direction. 

This program will enhance the support that is currently available to veterans by matching their skills with more educational opportunities, helping to lead them to another rewarding career. 

The team at TAFE Queensland are experienced military veterans with extensive industry contacts who are skilled to support veterans to re-enter the workforce after exiting the Australian Defence Force.