An alternative pathway to a rewarding career.

Lisa Cmrlec has seen her hard work reap some very rewarding results.

At only 16 years old, Lisa completed her first vocational qualification, Certificate III in Business, in a record six months while still in Year 11. After undertaking work experience at a school for children with disability, Lisa found the experience so rewarding that she decided to enrol in a Certificate III in Disability in 2012.

At the same time, Lisa’s class was completing a Certificate III in Aged Care and Lisa jumped at the opportunity to enrol in a course that would widen her experience in healthcare and disability services. Within two years she had achieved three nationally recognised qualifications – all before she had turned 18.

“My traineeship in disability services offered me the opportunity to learn in a hands-on setting. I got to work side by side with teaching staff who taught me the ‘ins and outs’ of a classroom setting,” Lisa said.

Lisa’s outstanding results in her vocational qualifications resulted in an acceptance to Flinders University to a Bachelor of Education, specialising in Primary R-7 and Special Education and Disability Studies. Lisa graduated in 2016 and is currently working as a teacher with the South Australian Government, Department for Education and Child Development.

This pathway to university allowed Lisa to build transferable skills in the business industry and use them in her role in education and disability.

“My traineeship allowed me to learn in a positive environment. I felt pretty lucky. I was learning on the job while doing something that really interested me – and I was getting paid!” Lisa said.

Lisa wants others to consider apprenticeships or traineeships as a pathway to a rewarding career. She has this advice for those thinking about their future careers.

“Find what you are interested in, and speak to your school’s VET or careers coordinator about pursuing your dream career. It is important that you are well educated in your industry, and apprenticeships or traineeships are an amazing way to learn. ” Lisa said.

Lisa has received numerous awards for her studies. In 2013 she won the South Australian Vocational Student of the Year Award and represented her state in the Australian Training Awards the same year.

Since her success with the Australian Training Awards Lisa has participated in many public speaking opportunities, including speaking at her high school to inspire students to undertake VET courses, speaking at the National VET Conference, and being a guest speaker at various local Riverland events.

Having now graduated with a tertiary degree as a Special Education Teacher, Lisa is working as a relief teacher in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. Lisa's experiences show that VET study doesn't mean that your education ends when you receive your certificate or diploma. VET study can go hand in hand with a Bachelor's degree, and assist you to have further success in your professional life.

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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