Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications

The sky’s the limit

It wouldn’t be the greatest start in life to be knocked back because you’re ‘too old’ for the trade of your choice, or because you’re the ‘wrong sex’ for the traineeship of your dreams.  But if you’re Angelina Oates with a determination to succeed, such setbacks are never going to stand in your way.

“I wanted to do spray painting but was knocked back because I was over 21,” said Angelina. “I then set my sights on a traineeship but heard that I was unsuccessful because I was deemed not physically capable of doing some of the work. When at last I did find factory work as a casual spray painter I heard that my job would soon become redundant. The only thing to do was to get some qualifications behind me and see where that led.”

Where that led for Angelina was the pathway to success. Through sheer hard work and motivation, working and studying full-time, Angelina undertook a pre-vocational Certificate II in Data and Voice Communications just before the axe fell on her casual job. Unemployed, she walked into APEC Communication Technology in Adelaide and asked for a job. That’s when her luck turned. APEC offered her an apprenticeship, and today she is close to completing her Certificate III in Data and Voice Communication and doing “really interesting” work.

“I’m out on the road a lot and work out of a van to provide telecommunications services to companies such as Telstra, Optus and TPG,” said Angela. “It’s quite physical work, but more open to females than other trades such as bricklaying, carpentry and plumbing. I love the opportunity to work with fibre optics and cutting edge technology and get a real sense of achievement out of seeing what I’ve built at the end of the day.”

An achiever in her own right, Angelina has won a number of awards—Apprentice of the Month and the Indigenous Learner of the Year, and was selected to participate in the National Apprentice Employment Network's (formerly Group Training Australia) 2016 Today’s Skills Tomorrow’s Leaders program. She also wants to be a role model for Indigenous females wanting to better themselves and take a chance in fields that are male and non-Indigenous dominated.

“I’m loving my work and the opportunities my apprenticeship has opened up for me,” said Angelina. “If I hadn’t done an apprenticeship I wouldn’t have got the awards I have and had the amazing opportunities to further my career and speak at events to inspire others to give an apprenticeship a go.

“It just shows that if you are determined to succeed, take pride in your work and do well in your trade you’ll have no doors slam in your face—you’ll have avenues opening before you. If I’d stayed a factory worker I’d be just another number, with no real future prospects. Now I have the completely opposite experience—I have a fulfilling job, can take my work anywhere, and there are so many different directions to go in—the sky’s the limit. That’s all down to my apprenticeship, and I’m very grateful.”

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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