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Rhys Wotherspoon is in the fast lane, accelerating his dream career in the automotive industry.

Rhys, a St Catherine’s Catholic College student, is combining his high school studies with TAFE at School training to kick start a career in mechanics.

“I have always been interested in cars and every time a nice car goes past I get excited,” Rhys said.

“I’m studying a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways. I decided to enrol because I’ve seen other TAFE at School students get the opportunity to go on and become apprentices."

Pre-apprenticeship studies are a good launching pad for students interested in pursuing a trade career. The Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (MEM20413) covers the basics about how engines work and provides students with hand tool and power tool experience.

A few months into his studies 16-year-old Rhys had the confidence and entry-level skills to approach a Proserpine dealership for work experience during his school holidays.

“I did one week of work experience at Rod Grittner Nissan and when they asked me if I wanted to come back for a second week I jumped at the chance,” Rhys said.

“I couldn’t believe it when they then offered to take me on as a school-based apprentice; it’s an opportunity that could set me up for life.”

Rhys said he is grateful he has the opportunity to access TAFE Queensland training while he is still in high school.

“You learn so much through TAFE at School. I’ve worked on a small motors project and I’ve even been able to try oxy cutting and welding,” Rhys said.

“Laurie my TAFE at School teacher is awesome, he really knows his stuff. He has taught me so much, and he spends a lot of one-on-one time with each student to make sure we’re all up to speed."

“I’d definitely encourage other students to consider TAFE at School, especially if you want a trade career, as it can definitely give you a head start."

Teacher Laurie Cox said it is great that Rhys is also excelling outside of the classroom.

“Rhys has a good attitude, great attendance and he really applies himself in class; these are the types of qualities employers are looking for,” Laurie said.

“I’m really happy Rhys has been offered a school-based apprenticeship. It’s quite humbling for teachers to help their students succeed.”

 

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