In high school I had to choose two electives and I picked two metal work courses, but halfway through the program I was told that I was actually only allowed to take one of those classes. I really liked metal and I enjoyed working with my hands, so luckily the school let me keep my electives.
Over the years I’ve done a fair bit with my trade and it’s allowed me to have a very good lifestyle. It’s a misconception that you have to go to university to have an exciting and fulfilling profession. I have a real passion for trades and I think it’s a great career choice, qualified workers can go anywhere with their trade these days. When I finished my apprenticeship we had to write letters to companies to get work now, thanks to the internet, people can just apply online and start a job a week later anywhere in the world. So I like that I’m now able to give back and help others start their careers or upskill.
I actually first became a teacher in 2007 and I’ve worked in Brisbane and Victoria, but I’ve always had an affinity with Mount Isa. I’ve lived and worked here on and off since the 80s and I jumped at the chance to move back when a full-time teaching position came up in 2016.
Our training provides people with technical skills, but our programs also teach important life skills which employers value, things like punctuality, communication, team work and problem solving.
My work with TAFE Queensland gives me a lot of satisfaction. It’s great watching my students achieve, just recently I taught a group of carpenters how to weld and it was nice seeing the excitement they experienced from learning something new.
I have also completed industry release with former apprentices who now own their own businesses, and it’s wonderful to see them be successful in their field and to know that I had a role in their training and learning journey.
I get a bit emotional when I think about it, but it’s really special to watch and experience how quality training can help set up someone’s life.
For anyone looking at getting into a trade, I encourage youto be a sponge, to learn your trade properly, and to get as much out of the training as you can because teachers and employers are willing to share their knowledge,.