It’s never too late
A career pathway in the automotive industry was always a dream for Luke Fleming, but it was not until he was in his late 20s that he finally gave it a go.
A talented rugby league player, after completing Year 12 Luke worked in a coaching and development role with the Australian Rugby League.
After this, he became a Customs Officer for the Australian Customs Service.
In 2008, he made the career switch to an Australian Apprenticeship, starting a Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Heavy Vehicle Mobile Equipment) with Hastings Deering.
“Heavy vehicle and automotive has always been something I've been interested in but it's not something I probably saw as a career path until later on in my life.
“I decided to apply for the apprenticeship with Hastings Deering and I haven't looked back. It's been great. The balance of being outdoors and getting dirty occasionally goes well with the technical side of it. It's something that I really enjoy,” Luke said.
Since completing his Australian Apprenticeship, Luke works as a Field Service Diesel Fitter for the Hastings Deering Caterpillar dealership where he enjoys travelling to different parts of the Northern Territory to diagnose, correct and maintain heavy vehicle equipment.
Luke was named the company’s 2011 Darwin Apprentice of the Year and came second in its Top Apprentice Challenge.
The 32-year-old was a finalist in the Australian Apprentice of the Year category at the 2012 Australian Training Awards after being awarded the NT Austin Ashe Apprentice of the Year Award.
“Probably one of the biggest challenges was the financial side. My wife and I had only built a house and moved into it 12 months earlier. But we needed to take a step backwards to take what has now been quite a few steps forward,” Luke said.
To see Luke at work, watch The Field Service Diesel Fitter: Luke’s story.