Business owner at 18

The sixth generation of his family to undertake a career on the land, now 20-year-old South Australian Alistair Keller suspects there is a farming gene or two in his DNA.

Alistair was offered an Australian School-based Apprenticeship and, with the support of Booleroo Centre District School, Statewide Group Training, Regional Skills Training and Trade Schools for the Future, he completed his training in 2012.

Alistair’s two-year apprenticeship saw him learn innovative farming practices.

His work includes training cattle and sheep dogs, breeding a wide range of show poultry, cropping, shearing, judging rams or fleeces, raising sheep and working with cattle.

“There is no substitute to what I learned on the farm, in the shearing sheds and in the saleyards and as a consequence I became far better prepared for managing a business,” he said.

Alistair owns a livestock company after being named the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year at the 2012 Australian Training Awards.

“My apprenticeship allowed me to gain both a nationally recognised qualification and my Year 12 Certificate,” he said.

“It was a great experience and I want to tell as many people as I can in my position to give it a go – it has got me further than I could have ever imagined.”

To see Alistair at work, watch The Farmer: Alistair'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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