" I want to be an exemplar of how fantastic a trade can be.”

After 18 months into an Engineering Degree at University Shane Dealy knew it was not the right career path for him so he switched to his first love, carpentry.

Engineering’s loss has now proven to be carpentry’s gain, with Shane named the Australian Apprentice of the Year in the 2016 Australian Training Awards for being outstanding in all aspects of his trade.

“When I changed from engineering to carpentry I wasn’t sure that I’d done the right thing. The career advice I’d received at school was very much in favour of going to university. But now the award confirms that I’ve chosen the right pathway,” said Shane.

Shane gained his apprenticeship while working for his father’s firm Algoa holdings and studying at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT).

His work covers a range of projects from new homes, extensions, alterations, decks, pergolas and landscaping.

“The training I have received from my father and CIT has provided me with the skills and confidence to contribute to the business and progress in my trade. Already I have been able to give back to family and friends by working on their homes. Working within an industry that is constantly evolving, I believe very few occupations are as fulfilling or can offer the same versatility,” said Shane.

According to his teachers, the foundation of Shane’s success is his capacity for hard work, his drive to better himself and his commitment to the building industry.

While doing his Certificate III and his apprenticeship, Shane also engaged in a number of other studies which saw him working full time, studying one day a week for the apprenticeship and sometimes three evenings a week for additional qualifications in building and construction. His ultimate goal is to do further study and gain a degree which would allow him to work as a building certifier.

“What my studies have shown me is the value of learning,” said Shane. “It provides choice, room to grow and self-worth. With an ever changing world, new building techniques, products and designs to keep abreast of, you have to be always adapting and learning.”
Shane is particularly passionate about the opportunities that can be gained through vocational education and training.

“In a generation where fewer people are becoming involved in apprenticeships I would like to play a part in reversing that trend. I was the first out of my friendship group to begin a trade and I think that had a lot to do with apprenticeships not being promoted at school. I’ve always encouraged anyone who’s asked me about doing an apprenticeship. I’ve been honest and told them how working in the industry can be hard but fulfilling. Since then, two close friends have started apprenticeships and are enjoying their carpentry and plumbing studies.

“What I want to do is be an ambassador for VET by visiting schools and giving impressionable young people in Year 10 or 11 a more complete picture of the options available to them. I want to be an exemplar of how fantastic a trade can be.”

In 2017, Shane and fellow Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Brendan Carlson showcased the Australian Vocational Education and Training in India as part of the Australia-India Skills Delegation.

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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