The 16-year-old grandson of Supercars Hall of Famer Dick Johnson, is studying TAFE Queensland’s Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (MEM20413) while still in high school and said the training has provided him with confidence in the workshop.
“I spend a lot of my spare time in the workshop with race cars and I am really trying to build my knowledge and skills. I have learnt so much from TAFE Queensland around how to safely operate tools and machines,” he said.
“Studying engineering has given me more in-depth and advanced mechanical knowledge and I can now recognize and appreciate how things work which helps a lot when racing cars.”
The Maudsland teen said he can drive a car at over 225km per hour and feel completely calm and safe, yet operating tools in the workshop tends to make him nervous.
“Before I started the TAFE course I was always worried and felt like I would break or ruin the tools I was using, but after being taught the correct use of equipment I feel more comfortable and confident working on projects,” he said.
Jett is in Year 11 at Silkwood School at Mount Nathan and spends one day a week at TAFE Queensland’s Ashmore campus on the Gold Coast where he gains hands on experience in a simulated workshop environment.
“Within a couple months of attending TAFE I had already learnt so much and felt confident enough to go out to a workshop and put my new welding skills to good use.”
When Jett graduates from school next year he will have completed the Certificate II in Engineering Pathways which will gain him credit points towards an apprenticeship in a wide range of engineering jobs including fitting and turning, sheet metal fabrication, welding, boiler making, mechanical or electrical fitting.
“I’ve always had a love for anything mechanical so ultimately I am looking towards a career not only in racing cars but also in some sort of engineering, design or fabrication,” said Jett.
“Doing the TAFE at School program has been the best investment in my time as I never really enjoyed the conventional school system and it’s given me a head start on my career while reinforcing my decision that a job in engineering is exactly what I want to do.”
“The experience I have had at TAFE Queensland has not only been beneficial to my career but I have also really enjoyed it and loved every second while making some good mates along the way.”
Jett doesn’t have his driver’s licence yet, but has been racing cars on the track since he was 14-years-old and raced go karts from the age of seven.
“I am in my complete element when I'm at the tack, driving a race car and getting into a rhythm while pushing the car to its limits – it’s a feeling I really can’t explain.”
For anyone who is thinking about studying the Engineering Pathways program, Jett said to jump right in, especially if you want to get your hands dirty and gain the foundation skills for many job opportunities.
“The course is practical, useful and can be applied to many career pathways,” he said.
As part of the TAFE at School Engineering Pathways program students are required to complete industry-based vocational placement with many going on to secure apprenticeships with their work experience provider.