Unfolding path to boundless opportunities
Jared Stone has experienced the varied directions in VET that can unfold once you step on its career path. That path has already won him the Australian Apprentice of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards.
If not for a suggestion from a school careers advisor during Jared’s Year 11, his future mightn't have been looking as bright.
"I didn’t have great experiences of school, didn’t have a plan and soon found myself dropping my TEE subjects. But I enjoyed being a drummer with my band, so when the career advisor suggested doing a VET qualification in music I left school and went for it."
When he reached the sound production subjects, Jared was fascinated by the electronics and undertook a pre-apprenticeship course in electrotechnology.
One of 12 candidates selected by Western Power from 750 applicants to join its apprentice program, Jared completed his theory studies for his Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician during his second year, so during the third year of his apprenticeship he also completed a Certificate IV in Engineering (Instrumentation). In 2017, Jared completed his Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering (Electrical Systems).
Jared is a fully qualified electrician, employed as a 'Primary Plant Technician' with Western Power, his work centres around asset reliability improvement projects, for the life cycle of primary and secondary equipment installed in Western Power's South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
Perth-based Jared feels that an apprenticeship is just as good as a tertiary degree “or even better” in both the learning process and the career opportunities.
“It’s a seamless integration of off and on the job training means the skills you gain are all relevant and immediately useable in the workplace. And now, the opportunities open to me from doing my apprenticeship are potentially boundless.”
Jared says that the support mechanisms during his apprenticeship were excellent.
“I had amazing mentors — I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of other people."
In 2015 Jared was appointed an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, a role he's looking forward to.
"Life is a two way street, and my challenge now is to inspire others to believe in themselves as much as I've been helped to believe in myself."
Watch Jared in action here: The Electrician: Jared's Story.