The pressure to decide on a trade you’re good at, know and love straight out of school at 16, 17 or 18 years old is a difficult one to make.
Fourteen young job-seekers have just had that choice made easier after graduating the Skillset Workforce/TAFE NSW Skills4Trade program in Orange last week.
Program manager at Skillset Marissa Clift said the 12-week course provided youngsters the chance to try a “small cluster” of five different trades – automotive, engineering, decorating and painting, civil construction and carpentry.
“It’s to give them a taste of trades so they can find which trades suit them and which ones they think they would like,” Ms Clift said.
Graduate Dan Smith was offered a job at Bridgestone after a work experience placement through the program.
Through the course I discovered I really liked automotive side of it and how it all worked and workplaces and such.Dan Smith
“Through the course I was talking to the TAFE teacher and he recommended me to Bridgestone and they ended up giving me the job,” Mr Smith said.
He didn’t walk into the course aiming to get into automotive engineering, however, but found he enjoyed having a working, visible finished product when he finished.
“Originally I was thinking boilermaking but through the course I discovered I really liked automotive side of it and how it all worked and workplaces and such,” he said.
For 18-year-old graduate Brock Purdie, the course was a chance to get back into training after leaving school at the end of year 10 – which he said was the “wrong move” in hindsight – and being unable to secure an apprenticeship.
“I was hoping to land an apprenticeship straight out and didn’t have my license which was a big thing and for a little while I lost motivation and just started slacking at home,” he said.
“But once I got involved with Skillset they started pushing me towards my goals and got me into the course.”
He said the course took time to get going, but once students started getting stuck in, Mr Purdie said it was “great” to be able to be self-guided.
“We could work on a two-stroke engine by ourselves so we got to to pull all of those apart and look for other parts so it was great.”
He is hoping to find an apprenticeship and work in a small workshop with a few other mechanics.
“They get a few more cars coming through there and I’ll learn a lot more that way,” he said.