Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation
Life in the faster lane
When Hannah Terry was thinking about what to do after school she knew what she didn’t want to do: spend four years at University, end up with a big debt, and start at the bottom of the career ladder.
“I’m a bit impatient and I couldn’t see myself studying for four years at University and then trying to find a job,” said Hannah. “Doing an apprenticeship really appealed to me because you get paid the whole time instead of having a big debt at the end. That way you get further in life a lot quicker.”
That has certainly been the case for Hannah, who is clearly going places. While studying for her Certificate IV in Electrical–Instrumentation at RMIT and Working at Viva Energy Australia she won a Gold Medal competing in the Mechtronics team at the 2016 WorldSkills National Competition. “We were totally shocked to be announced as winners. It was a fantastic experience and it was amazing to see how talented and committed the other WorldSkills competitors were,” she said.
Reflecting on her progression through her apprenticeship, Hannah observed that while some people might look down on trades and regard them as ‘second tier’ career choices, her experience compares favourably to a friend who had done accounting and commerce at Uni. “After six years of study and working extremely hard, putting in lots of hours, she’s on the same money as me and she’s in no better position. That confirms for me that I made the right choice about my future.”
Since surviving a redundancy when her first employer shut down, Hannah says she has never looked back. “I love working in oil and gas and when you work in such a big industry you get so many more opportunities than anywhere else. To cap it off, my teachers and the people I work with have been amazing. Sometimes I think you feel pressure as an apprentice to have an expected skill set and knowledge, but as one of my tradesmen said, it doesn’t matter what you know and can do—as long as you have the right attitude the rest can be taught.
“My training has opened up a really good pathway with so many benefits. While I’ve had friends who’ve started apprenticeships and haven’t completed them, I don’t think that’s ever wasted. They’ll find the skills they’ve gained will come in handy in life, as one of my friends has already found to be the case, and doing an apprenticeship is a really good life experience. If you go about it the right way it can lead to all sorts of possibilities—there are no limitations.”