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Dougie's journey from pre-apprentice to qualified sparky

Doug 'Dougie' Egan started his training journey with an electrical pre-apprenticeship course at TAFE Queensland, which helped him land his dream apprenticeship. Now he's a qualified tradesperson.

Douglas ‘Dougie’ Egan started his journey to a trade qualification four years ago, when he enrolled in a Certificate II in Electrotechnology Career Start (UEE22020) at TAFE Queensland’s flagship trade training facility in Acacia Ridge. This led him to gain work experience and eventually an apprenticeship with local business R Jay Electrical Services, which he recently completed.

Dougie was attentive and determined to succeed in his studies from the start, being identified and encouraged by his pre-apprenticeship teacher as a great apprenticeship candidate early on.

“I wanted to do an electrical apprenticeship, it was my first choice, so when I came in for the pre-apprenticeship I tried to get as many new skills as I could and become a good apprenticeship candidate. Brett was a great teacher and he helped me get better and line up work experience that led to an apprenticeship,” Mr Egan said.

As a 17-year-old who’s parents were living abroad in 2020 when he started his study journey, Dougie showed tremendous commitment and self-discipline to complete his pre-apprenticeship course, followed by an apprenticeship and two additional Non-Accredited Short Courses to extend his electrical knowledge into niche areas.

Dougie is one of many Queenslanders who enrol in a pre-apprenticeship program each year, and there are two options available to people looking to enter an electrical apprenticeship; the Certificate II in Electrotechnology Career Start (UEE22020) and the Certificate II in Sustainable Energy Career Start (UEE22120).

Both of these courses prepare students for an electrical career and deliver local businesses with apprentices who hit the ground running, having already completed a number of units included in the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30820) apprenticeship course.

Dougie said he enrolled in the course to boost his chances of securing an apprenticeship, and he was not disappointed in the effects his new qualification had once finished.

“I looked at ads for jobs as an electrical apprentice and a lot of them said you needed to have the pre-apprenticeship course, so I decided to enrol,” Mr Egan said.

“Once I was training in the Certificate II, I was gaining so many skills and techniques that would mean I hit the ground running as an apprentice, and as part of the course I completed a work placement and that was with R Jay Electrical who ended up hiring me as an apprentice,” he said.

The now-qualified tradesperson's connection with the business was largely, he says, a result of TAFE Queensland's Student Pathways Officer, Kellie Richardson, who was at his disposal for every step of the journey.

"Without Kellie there helping me and making sure I made a good connection for my work placement with a business that was nearby and suited my plans, I wouldn't have gotten here," he said.

Douglas 'Dougie' Egan with Kellie Richardson, TAFE Queensland, and Lorelle Lindley, RJay Electrical.

Dougie’s TAFE Queensland pre-apprenticeship teacher Brett McMinn said the young man was an example of the success that comes with hard work and commitment to goals.

“Dougie was always going to make a great apprentice. From day one of the pre-apprenticeship course, he was always focussed and determined to get skills that would help him and his future employer,” Mr McMinn said.

“To see him now finished his apprenticeship and working as a qualified electrician is great and shows that when students put their all into their training, they can get a meaningful outcome that sets up their career,” he said.

Dougie is one of thousands of apprentices who has completed their training at no cost under the Queensland Government’s Free Apprenticeships for Under 25s funding program.