School-based apprenticeship a great ‘taster’

Joel Schwarz has always been fascinated with agricultural machinery.

Growing up on a vineyard, the 19-year-old witnessed mechanics working on the equipment and started to envision his future career in the industry.

Joel wanted a head start on his career, but did not wish to give up his secondary school studies at Mildura Senior College early, so he started an Australian School-based Apprenticeship in Automotive Mechanical Technology.

“An Australian School-based Apprenticeship is a really good taster and you are earning and learning,” Joel said.

“It is not a full-on commitment - you can still be doing your school as well.

“If you have the passion for it, just get in and have a go.

“I’ll be fully-qualified by the time I am 22 and from there almost anything is possible.”

Joel was awarded the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Australian Training Awards.

Joel has around three years left of his Australian Apprenticeship with Sunrise Ag and training provider SuniTAFE, where he learns skills for farm equipment such as combine harvesters, broad acre tractors, hoes, slashers and seeding implements.

He hopes to complete the Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Technology to broaden his knowledge and focus on the structure and science of an engine before one day opening a business.

Watch this interview with Joel minutes after being named Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Australian Training Awards.

Joel attended the APEC Youth Skills Camp in China in 2014.

To see Joel at work, watch The Diesel Mechanic: Joel's Story.

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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