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From an unclear future to fully-qualified tradesman, Chris Knight has put his life into high gear and even picked up a few award wins on the way.

Chris Knight’s journey to success began with the industry-demand driven GenR8 program in 2013, while he was still in Year 12.

The program, delivered in partnership between TAFE Queensland and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, gives school students an insight into the transport, logistics and supply chain industry.

Not only was Chris able to develop new skills and complete 20 weeks of structured work placements (1 day per week) over the school year while gaining a nationally-recognised Certificate II in Logistics (TLI21815), but he also gained two credit points towards his Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

"The GenR8 program really came at a time where I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and wasn't enjoying school," said Chris.

"After awhile I started to feel like working with big trucks would be much more interesting and would lead to more job opportunities."

Wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps, Chris then set his goals on becoming a qualified mechanic. He gained an apprenticeship with Followmont Transport and completed his Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR31116) through TAFE Queensland.

Chris excelled in industry and was signed off as a qualified tradesman nearly three months before initially scheduled.

"It hasn't been easy all the way ... I had to work really hard to prove to those around me that I was worthy of the opportunity to secure and complete an apprenticeship," said Chris.

"I'm in a place where I'm happy now, I've bought my first home and am about to have kids. But none of this would have happened if I hadn't made the initial decision to participate in GenR8," he continued.

Two of the highlights of Christ’s career so far were winning the Queensland Trucking Association's Excellence in Contribution Award in 2014, and then the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year Award at the Queensland Training Awards in 2018.

TAFE Queensland trainer Steve Thorley said the Apprentice of the Year award was a great acknowledgement of Chris’ hard work and commitment to training.

“He has a thirst for knowledge and really applied himself to all areas of his training; Chris has shown strong leadership skills and always stepped up to help out where needed,” said Steve.

Chris said that he now wants to inspire others, especially school students, who think they’re not good enough to succeed and reach their goals.

“My passion lies in giving others the inspiration to achieve their wildest dreams and ambitions because I can stand here today and say it CAN be achieved.”

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