Mature-aged apprentice realises passion

Shannon Szmynec understands that many students won’t know what career they want by the end of secondary school.

The Newcastle-resident was still wondering what his future would look like when he took up a retail job post-school.

Several years later he realised his strong interest in the electrical trade and started a mature-aged Australian Apprenticeship.

“My Australian Apprenticeship has given me the opportunity for a lifelong career doing something I love,” Shannon said.

“I learned on-the-job where I could be doing anything from changing a light bulb to repairing a broken down machine – this kept the learning process interesting and fun as no two days were the same.”

The 30-year-old will complete his Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Systems Electrician) in early 2015 thanks to group training organisation Novaskill, training provider TAFE NSW - Hunter Institute and host employer Port Waratah Coal Services (Kooragang and Carrington terminals).

Shannon was part of the 2014 Group Training Australia Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders Program.

“Learning a trade while being paid to study is one of the best things about an Australian Apprenticeship,” he said.

“Being able to think outside the box, work as part of a team or autonomously and be a good communicator and listener are important attributes for Australian Apprentices.

“You are not expected to have all the technical skills from day one and there are plenty of support networks to help you along the way.”

Shannon was named Novaskill’s Trades Apprentice of the Year in 2014, has completed a Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control and is now undertaking a Diploma in Electrical Engineering.

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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