To the edge of the world and back again!
At age 29, rigger and scaffolder Blake Sayer desired a more balanced lifestyle than the construction industry offered. After working as a plumber and gasfitter contractor, intermediate rigger, scaffolder and poly welder, on a fly in fly out basis, Blake was ready for a new challenge closer to home.
Blake wanted a job that he enjoyed going to every day that had the best work/life balance and combined with his love for the ocean. He decided that the maritime industry was the right choice for him.
Blake undertook a Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Integrated Rating) and an Australian Apprenticeship with ASP Shipping and P&O Maritime and group training organisation, Maritime Employees Training Limited. He completed his first 12 week block of off the job training with Challenger Institute of Technology in Fremantle Western Australia.
While at sea, Blake has responsibility for both the cargo and engine areas which work that includes assisting with cargo operations, conducting engine and navigational watches, assisting with berthing and unberthing operations, and undertaking general servicing and maintenance of the ship and its machinery.
“By completing your Australian Apprenticeship you get to see that there is a big reward waiting at the end of it. There are so many new opportunities and different ways you can branch off as soon as you hold your qualification,” Blake said.
Excelling in his training, Blake had the opportunity to join the Aurora Australis for two voyages to Antarctica, with the rare experience of breaking through the ice to the Australian Antarctic research and discover station, Mawson.
Blake and the rest of the crew made headlines in early 2015 on the Aurora Australis while assisting in the evacuation of a seriously ill explorer from Australian Antarctic research station Davis. Being part of that operation provided Blake and other members on the ship with the Australian Antarctic Division Directors Award.
“An Australian Apprenticeship has given me a nationally recognised qualification and industry relevant skills that will assist me in tackling any challenges that arise for me in the maritime industry.”
Blake participated in Group Training Australia’s Today’s Skills,Tomorrow’s Leaders 2015 national leadership program for group training apprentices and trainees.
Blake was recognised for his outstanding contribution to vocational education and training at the 2016 Australian Training Awards where he was a finalist in the Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award after being named winner of this category in his home state of Western Australia.