South Australian Alex Nikielski is working towards becoming a fully-qualified electrician, having started his studies with an Australian School-based Apprenticeship in electrotechnology.
"Starting my apprenticeship while I was still at school allowed me to complete my Year 12 Certificate, and get a head start on the career I always wanted," Alex said.
Whilst completing Year 10, Alex undertook on-site work experience with electricians in domestic, commercial and industrial buildings.
"Looking back, work experience was a great idea," he said.
"I knew the industry I wanted to be in, but I had no idea that there were so many careers and opportunities available in the field of electrotechnology.
"In the end, I discovered I liked the industrial side of things, and now I know that is the type of electrician I want to be."
Alex started an Australian School-based Apprenticeship whilst completing Year 12 at St Patricks Technical College in Adelaide - and is now in his third year of his Australian Apprenticeship with Automation and Industrial Services in Greenwith.
He is completing a Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician), and is on track to be fully-qualified in a year.
The now 20-year-old was rewarded for his efforts, winning the 2011 South Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award as well as being named runner-up of the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards.
"A good thing about my apprenticeship is that I am earning money to train for a career that I know I will love," he said.
"But the best thing about doing my apprenticeship is I know I will soon be in a well-paid career, doing something that I love - much sooner than others my age.
"And that makes me really happy."