Joanne knows how to light up the stage!

 Joanne Thornton was looking for more fulfilment in her work when she made the decision to leave a successful career as a theatre manager in the creative arts industry and undertake an Australian Apprenticeship.

After making the decision to change her career path and gain technical knowledge in electrotechnology, a sought after field, Joanne enrolled in night school to improve her maths and physics, and undertook some work experience with a qualified electrician.

“I never really liked the idea of university. To spend three years studying and graduate only to find that I was not happy with the work I was doing wasn’t a viable option for me. It was suggested to me that I look into a trade, so I chose electrical as it was the most mentally stimulating for me,” Joanne said.

In 2012, at 30 years of age, Joanne started her Australian Apprenticeship through Electrical Group Training, completing her off the job training at Polytechnic West and is still working at Curtin University - Properties, her host employer. Joanne’s willingness to learn, try new things and step out of her comfort zone, especially into a male-dominated trade has been a satisfying experience.

“I've only really experienced positivity in the workplace. While some of the older tradies are a bit uncomfortable working with a girl at first, they soon don’t see me as any different,” Joanne says of her experiences.

“I've found that I love learning new skills and knowledge. Although it can be difficult at first, by being self-motivated, working well with others, having a good work ethic and a desire to do a good job, the end gains outweigh any challenges.”

Joanne is enjoying her experience so much so that she plans to complete her Australian Apprenticeship as well as a second instrumentation qualification over the next year, allowing her to continue working within industrial applications. 

Joanne participated in Group Training Australia’s Today’s Skills, Tomorrow’s Leaders 2015 national leadership program for group training apprentices and trainees.

If you are interested in an Australian Apprenticeship and how to get started, download An Australian Apprenticeship - Endless Career Possibilities brochure or contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

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