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RPL puts Nik on path to business ownership

Nik Lindwall used Recognition of Prior Learning to earn qualifications that opened the door to business ownership for him.

Nik Lindwall has been in the construction industry for a long time, and was almost 10 years into his career before he was offered the opportunity to achieve a recognised qualification thanks to TAFE Queensland's Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

Having worked as a labourer on rooves across South-East Queensland since he was a teenager, Nik had picked up many of the skills learned in an apprenticeship and was steadily entrusted by his employers with more technical tasks, until he was operating to a similar level as qualified roof tilers and roof plumbers.

By then aged 28, Nik had decided he was no longer interested in working under somebody else and wanted to run his own roof tiling and plumbing business. The only catch was that despite his accumulated skills and experience, he did not hold the registered qualifications necessary.

It was then that Nik found out about TAFE Queensland's RPL process and approached the state's largest training provider about enrolling.

"I'd been doing it for eight or nine years at the time and I thought 'hopefully there's something out there that recognises those skills,'" Mr Lindwall said.

"I originally got into the RPL process to start my own business. In that process of starting my business I knew I would have to get the qualifications ... It's been under two years and now we're running large commercial sites with all aspects of the trade on show."

"It is a sense of pride getting your qualification. When you become a tradesman it makes you feel like you have more grounds to hire and train your own apprentices," he said.

Through TAFE Queensland's RPL program, Nik is now a qualified dual trade tradesperson, having completed the Certificate III in Roof Tiling (CPC30820) and Certificate III in Roof Plumbing (CPC32620).

Nik Lindwall accessed Construction Skills Queensland funding to reduce the course fees associated with his upskilling.