Mature-aged apprentice Michael Finger chose to formalise his qualifications with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to cement his existing knowledge and advance his career.

Michael lives locally in Warwick and works for a small mining company in Mount Isa, employed as an auto electrician but doing the work of a heavy vehicle fitter. As a FIFO worker he chose to formalise his qualifications while he was home in Warwick.

"Because I'm doing heavy vehicle fitter work I decided that I should get the paperwork to go with it and learn the skills properly," said Michael.

Studying a Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology (AUR31216) as a mature-aged apprentice, Michael is fortunate he can do most of his course via RPL.

"So rather than attending four years at TAFE I'm hopeful to complete this inside one year," he said.

"I've been pretty lucky, it's been really flexible being able to come when I'm home between working away. After that, officially my TAFE will be done and training records signed off. I organised it like that so that I could do a chunk in one go rather than drag it out over a couple of years," said Michael.

Being that Michael already works in the industry, attending TAFE Queensland has been more about learning the theory behind everything than getting job-ready skills.

"I do a lot of the practical stuff at work already — it's the theory behind it that I need to know and learn," said Michael.

As a mature-aged student, Michael enjoyed that the course content was very self paced.

"The teachers are great, they're there if I have any questions I need answered and they help out in any way they can, but I pretty much study at my own pace," he said.

For those looking to get into the industry, Michael says you need the right qualifications and a drive to succeed.

"For possible apprentices you need to have good grades, good mechanical aptitude, good attitude and you will get into it. Anything you put your mind to you can do," he said.

His advice to anyone thinking about returning to study as a mature-aged student is to take the leap.

"You can never put enough value on education in yourself. TAFE Queensland is here for Queenslanders — go for it!"


Learn more about recognition of prior learning

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