Engineering a future

Ben Hartwig did not always think an Australian Apprenticeship was for him; he stumbled across the Certificate III in Engineering (Fabrication) with AiGTS while preparing to move to Melbourne for university.

Having heard that engineer patternmakers were in need and would never be out of a job, Ben decided to research the industry.

Despite not considering an Australian Apprenticeship previously, the lure of earning while learning skills that would set him up for life caused him to submit an application – and being offered the position.

With the course being held in Melbourne, every six weeks Ben made the 600km return trip from Wodonga to Melbourne for two week blocks of training.

“Receiving my qualification made all the travel worthwhile. If I went to university, I would not have finished my course yet and my HECS debt would still be growing,” Ben said.

“Now I am fully qualified and earning an adult’s wage - and I am only 21 years old.”

In 2010, Ben was trained by the Manufacturing and Engineering Skills Advisory Board (MESAB) to become an ambassador for his trade to local secondary schools where he helps students discover the benefits of apprenticeships and his industry.

“As a trade ambassador I visit local high schools and presented my trade to the students there,” Ben said.

“A student from one of those schools was inspired by my presentation and decided to pursue the same trade. It was a real pat on the back.”

The 23-year-old’s passion for his trade provided him with another development opportunity when he was nominated and accepted to attend Group Training Australia’s Skills Today: Tomorrow’s Leaders 2012 program in Canberra.

“I’m glad I attended the event; it provided me with an opportunity to focus on where my skills can take me and what options I have,” Ben said.

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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