Loves his footy, but engineering is Ben’s true calling
Ben Spina enjoys a successful career as a second row and lock for the North Queensland Cowboys in the National Rugby League competition. While he primarily plays second-row and lock, many do not know that when it comes to his skills off the field, metals and mechanics is his true calling.
After growing up on a farm in Ingham, North Queensland, Ben loved nothing more than welding, fixing and creating with his Dad’s tools in the shed. By the time he reached secondary school and was making career decisions, he knew a trade was for him and undertook an Australian Apprenticeship in the engineering and mechanical trade.
“After meeting many people in the trades, I have found that completing an apprenticeship is a very beneficial stepping stone for a successful future in any industry,” Ben said.
In his earlier years, Ben continued working as a fitter and turner while playing for the Cairns-based Northern Pride in the Queensland Intrust Super Cup.
Now a top player in the National Rugby League, and a previous mentor for the 'Trading up with the NRL' project, Ben knows he has some fantastic skills to utilise when the day comes.
“The trade skills I have learned, as well as the communication skills and leadership skills, have helped in my rugby league career, and of course, outside it.
“I’ll hope to return to my trade when I retire from footy and aim to start my own business,” Ben said.
Ben has this advice for up and coming Australian Apprentices.
“If you’re unsure exactly what industry you’re interested in there are many options. Go and see what’s out there! You won’t look back.”
Watch Ben in action here: Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Ben Spina.