An exhilarating career
At 24, Paul Tran embarked on a career change that would see him moving from a position with the Australian Federal Police - safeguarding the lives of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister - to finding his true passion of carpentry with an Australian Apprenticeship.
Despite knowing he would take a temporary drop in pay, Paul's decision to join the construction industry as an apprentice carpenter was motivated by his passion for building and architecture and the satisfaction of having a skill that would assist him in progressing into a well-paid career.
"I knew that starting a carpentry apprenticeship was going to mean that I would be 'starting again' in my mid-twenties," Paul said.
"In the big picture, four years was not too bad when I knew at the end I would have a nationally recognised qualification that would set me up for life."
After completing his Australian Apprenticeship, Paul worked for Jacaranda Industries as a qualified carpenter. In 2017, Paul decided to venture out and start his own business, Arquette, and is now anticipating hiring his first apprentice.
"I enjoy contributing to the solutions," he said.
"Everyday I am gaining unique skills that will help me progress in my career."
Already recognised for excelling in his new found career, Paul won the 2012 National Carpenters Day Apprentice Carpenter of the Year Award, and the 2012 Master Builders Association of Victoria's Employer Nominated Apprentice of the Year.
"I believe the career change gave me a better lifestyle," he said.
"Instead of shift work, I now work day-time hours - and the work is varied and interesting.
"It has also given me skills I can use in everyday life - if I want to renovate at home in the future."
In 2013, Paul was a finalist at the Victorian Training Awards in the Victorian Apprentice of the Year category.
Paul was also lucky enough to demonstrate his carpentry skills to more than 1.2 million Australians on an episode of The Block: Sky High on 22 May, 2013.
Paul was joined by several WorldSkills Australia participants and fellow Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Ryan Dahlblom on the episode, where they assisted the couples in a construction-related challenge.
Paul and Ryan’s appearance was facilitated by the show's host and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, Scott Cam.