Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery and Certificate IV in Building and Construction
Building a career in construction
When he was a kid, Damon Addison was always building cubby houses on the family farm. So, it’s no surprise Damon’s career choice was construction. ‘I always get great satisfaction out of starting with nothing and seeing the results at the end,’ he says.
Damon earned as he learned through an Australian School-based Apprenticeship working at Tasmanian construction company Mead Con. After completing his Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery through TasTAFE, Damon started his Certificate IV in Construction.
‘I came out of grade 10 with no formal qualifications,’ he says. ‘I was 16 and applied for a job at Mead Con against 40 people. I was put on as an apprentice and worked and studied for the next four years.’
As an apprentice, Damon received strong onsite and offsite training through dedicated trainers with direct experience in the industry. ‘Our assessors and supervisors were excellent and supported me through my journey,’ he says.
Damon won the 2016 Master Builders Association Apprentice of the Year for Tasmania and then the 2016 National Apprentice of the Year. ‘It was rewarding to suit up for the awards at Parliament House in Canberra,’ says Damon. ‘My boss and the human resources manager came with their partners and so did my parents and my partner.’
Early in his apprenticeship Damon was invited to speak to schools about his industry as a career choice and the value of apprenticeships. ‘This helped build my communication and leadership skills,’ he says.
Damon still works at Mead Con having advanced from his role as leading hand to supervisor on some project, running his own show. ‘We do heaps of commercial development, including in the big city, as well as residential dwellings and civil contracting,’ says Damon.
With his Certificate IV in Building and Construction Damon has learned about other essential aspects of the industry, including business and administration. ‘I now have a different perspective which helps me on site,’ Damon says. ‘With my Cert IV I can now apply for a building license.’
‘One advantage of the industry is that you can move through different career paths once you have your national qualification,’ says Damon. ‘You can be a foreman, estimator, general carpenter or an excavator and move to the mainland since you have a nationally recognised qualification.’
Today Damon is an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, speaking highly of his education experience ‘I recommend it,’ he says. ‘The skills and values you learn put you in a good position for life.’
In addition to working and being an Ambassador, Damon is busy renovating his house, something he certainly has the skills to do.