From helping local apprentices kick start their construction careers to providing Pacific Islanders with the skills they need to build their country’s future infrastructure; TAFE Queensland Carpentry Teacher Trevor Grady has spent the last 13 years training the next generation of builders to succeed.
Now, Trevor is offering his expertise to students from across the globe, as the trainer leading the first international carpentry course to be offered at TAFE Queensland’s Nambour campus.
Twenty-four international students will spend the next two years completing their Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30211) under Trevor's guidance. The students will gain valuable hands-on experience using the campus’s industry-standard tools and equipment.
Trevor said the students were already starting to build a solid foundation of knowledge.
“I think Australia is a fairly well-respected country in relation to our training in carpentry, so it’s not really a surprise to me at how much interest there is internationally,” Trevor said.
According to a recent report by KPMG, TAFE Queensland’s international program contributed $125 million to the Queensland economy in 2017.
“We’ve got pretty high standards here in Australia and I’m excited to have the opportunity to pass those standards on to students from overseas,” Trevor said.
A qualified carpenter and joiner, Trevor spent 20 years running his own building company in Pomona, before deciding to share his skills with others as a teacher at TAFE Queensland.
“I got to about 40 and I 'd done everything I had set out to do,” Trevor said.
“I had a wide range of knowledge and experience and I thought it would be good to impart some of that wisdom to the next generation coming through to help set them up for success,” he said.
“It’s an amazing feeling when you finish a job and get to see the pleased look on your client’s face. But it’s even more rewarding to see your students go out and succeed using the skills you’ve given them.”
Trevor’s teaching career has also enabled him to help make a difference overseas, with the passionate teacher spending two years in Vanuatu as part of TAFE Queensland’s long-running contract with the Australia-Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). Mr Grady spent 2012 training Vanuatu’s mobile forces to a Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30211) level so they could help maintain the country’s infrastructure. He then returned to the island nation in 2014 to train local apprentices.
Since 2007, with the support of TAFE Queensland, the APTC has positively transformed the lives of over 13,500 Pacific women and men by providing them with skills and Australian qualifications.
“It was amazing to have the opportunity to teach a trade to people in a developing country,” Trevor said.
“They don’t have a lot, but when you finish with them they have a well-recognised trade that they can use to help build their country’s future.”
Trevor said it's an exciting time in construction on the Sunshine Coast, with local residential and commercial developments driving a boom in the industry. According to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, employment in the Sunshine Coast’s construction industry is set to increase by 17.2 per cent over the five years to 2023. With such fantastic growth in the local industry, there are plenty of jobs available for those like Mr Grady’s students who are keen to enter the industry.
“Trade qualifications are always valuable — we are always going to need builders,” Trevor said.
Find out how you can kick start a career in trades through TAFE Queensland.