Thirty-five year old apprentice electrician Amy Hollander took a gamble when she decided to leave her long-term job in real estate to pursue her dream of becoming an electrician.

Coming from a family of electricians she already had a good understanding of the industry, but needed to find an employer that was willing to take a chance on her.

“I’d often thought about getting into the electrical industry; it’s been a passion and interest of mine for a long time. My grandfather, father and one of my brothers are all electricians, so it’s what I’ve grown up with,” Amy said.

“My interest really started when I was in high school and my dad owned his own electrical business. I was fortunate enough to be able to do some work with him after school and that definitely had a really big influence on me.

“Initially, I found it pretty tough to find an employer willing to take me on. I was really struggling to get my foot in the door, so I decided to enrol in a Certificate II in Electrotechnology (UEE22011). The pre-apprenticeship program seemed like a great way to learn the skills I needed for an employer to take me on as an apprentice,” she said.

Amy proved to be a dedicated student, impressing her TAFE Queensland teachers with her knowledge and skill level and after signing up for workplace experience with S.J. Electric -Trivantage, Amy was offered an opportunity to kick-start her career – an electrical apprenticeship.

“It’s an industry that provides a great deal of job security; people are always going to need electricians,” Amy said.

“I was also attracted to the job variety. You can pursue switchboard manufacturing, commercial, or residential – the industry really has endless possibilities.

“I absolutely loved completing the pre-apprenticeship. It taught me quite a lot about both the practical and theoretical side of things. It was definitely the stepping-stone that I needed to get an apprenticeship.

“The teachers were great and very helpful with not only the workload, but also helping me to get some work experience and just supporting me through that whole process,” she said.

Nick Small, Production Manager from S.J Electric – Trivantage said that most of the apprentices they employ have completed the Certificate II in Electrotechnology and in particular the work experience component.

“We believe that apprentices are the future, we like to help people fulfil their aspirations of becoming an electrician. It’s good to see apprentices at the start and watch them grow over the years.

“Amy is doing amazingly; she is very eager to learn and follows instructions well. She really cares about the company and the other employees really enjoy working with her,” Nick said.

TAFE Queensland electrical teacher John Hewson said undertaking a pre-apprenticeship is a great way for people looking to start a career in trades to gain foundation skills so they can be job-ready and add value to an employer right from day one of an apprenticeship.

“A large number of our students are also career changers who come from a broad range of backgrounds from hospitality, retail, tourism and even agriculture.

“Our goal as teachers is to get students skilled and ready to take that next step into an apprenticeship or directly into the workforce,” John said.

“Our relationships with industry also mean that our students are often recruited directly out of our classrooms into fulltime employment,” he said.

The Certificate II in Electrotechnology is delivered across multiple TAFE Queensland campuses across the state with each campus offering a range of delivery options. Amy completed the course full time, on campus at TAFE Queensland Bracken Ridge, finishing in just six short weeks.

The Bracken Ridge campus also offers mixed-mode delivery meaning that students can choose between a range of on-campus classroom study as well as an online delivery options with up to 20 weeks to complete the course.

“I would definitely encourage others to undertake a pre-apprenticeship course, in particular the Certificate II in Electrotechnology. I’ll back that every day of the week, because I’m a witness to how well it works,” Amy said.

For more information about how you can kick-start your trade career with TAFE Queensland, visit tafeqld.edu.au or call 1300 308 233 and see where TAFE can take you.

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