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Training flexibility fit for a Bronco

Brisbane Broncos player Cory Paix is using TAFE Queensland's flexible training options to fit his carpentry apprenticeship around a fulltime footy career.

Brisbane Broncos Hooker Cory Paix, born and bred in Toowoomba, has achieved his sporting dreams by playing in the NRL since 2020, but he says sticking true to his lifelong plan of a trade qualification to fall back on is just as important as his on field success.

 Paix is nearing completion of a carpentry apprenticeship, studying the Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30220), which he has been undertaking one day a week thanks to TAFE Queensland’s flexible training options. Cory said he is glad he stuck with the trade and encouraged young people dreaming of a career in elite sport to consider one also.

“Footy’s not forever and you’ve got the rest of your life to think about. I believe that a carpentry apprenticeship or any sort of trade, you should pursue that,” Mr Paix said.

“Certainly from a young age my father told me that you’ve always got to have a Plan B and I like the construction industry and I’d love to pursue that. I did that, starting in grade 10, and am currently still doing it.”

“Obviously it’s a long challenge with the one day a week between fulltime footy, but it’s very enjoyable and it’s a great lifestyle for after footy,” he said.

Fit around his fulltime NRL schedule, Paix works one day per week on site with his host company ReeBuild as an apprentice carpenter and completes his TAFE Queensland training via workplace delivery, visited on site by a trainer and assessor monthly to complete his technical training.

Having completed earlier parts of his apprenticeship elsewhere, Paix says TAFE Queensland’s training has stood out due to its quality and the ease of access to flexible training methods and online training components.

“When the season rolls around we get one day off a week and I spend most of my time out on site completing my apprenticeship, the rest of the time in between I’m on the computer completing my TAFE online,” Mr Paix said.

“I work with a trainer by the name of Anthony Gregory and he’s been so accommodating for me, he’s helped me progress further on in my apprenticeship and I’m very grateful for that.”

“My relationship with Anthony is very professional, he comes out on site at least once a month and makes sure that I’m up to date and where I need to be to keep my progression moving forward.”

“I’ve worked with a lot of other training providers before this, and I’ve found so far that TAFE Queensland does it the best,” he said.

TAFE Queensland trains 25,000 apprentices each year across industries ranging from bricklaying to baking, and apprentices choose a delivery mode that suits them and their employer best. Cory Paix is one of thousands of these apprentices who are accessing the Queensland Government’s Free Apprenticeships for Under 25s funding to complete their training.