An alternative path to university

Joshua Lodge’s plans to study chemical engineering at university were deferred when he decided to gain some practical understanding first.

Enrolling in a Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques at TAFE NSW’s Hunter Institute, Joshua secured a traineeship with Origin Energy.

Completing the theory component of the certificate in the first year, he then enrolled in (and completed) a Diploma of Chemistry.

“I’m very happy I started with a traineeship as my learning pathway instead of jumping straight into university,” Joshua said.

“It has allowed me to gain industry experience straight away which can be difficult to obtain.

“I’ve also been able to undertake my own projects and work on a large variety of water treatments plants which has been the highlight for me.”

Joshua won the 2014 Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards.

“Winning the award was a very humbling experience and a great way to top off my traineeship,” he said.

“It highlights all the time and effort people have put into my training and how valuable vocational education and training is.

“The award is also good recognition for both my host business Origin Energy and group training organisation Hunter Valley Training Company.”

While still undertaking his traineeship, Joshua enrolled in a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) at Newcastle University.

The Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador has completed his traineeship, secured full-time employment and mentors two trainees who will work in Origin Energy’s chemical department.

The 24-year-old was part of Group Training Australia’s Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders program, and won trainee of the year awards from Group Training Australia and Laboratory Techniques. Watch his podcast here.

Watch Joshua at work:The Process Chemist: Joshua's Story

If you are interested in an Australian Apprenticeship and how to get started, download An Australian Apprenticeship - Endless Career Possibilities brochure or contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

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