Certificate III in Carpentry and Certificate IV in Building and Construction

Like father, like son

As a child Steven Jeffery would help out by doing some labouring work at the family business, Jeffery Homes Quality Builders. Little did he know then, that one day he would actually be running the business while his Father took some well-deserved leave.

“After completing my carpentry qualification my Dad took me totally by surprise by offering me a position as his apprentice,” said Steven. “That was the making of me and I’m really thrilled he had enough confidence in my abilities to allow me to mind the show while he’s away.”

Steven’s work ethic and “110 per cent effort” saw him undertaking a Certificate III in Carpentry while concurrently doing a Certificate IV in Building and Construction at Swinburne TAFE in Melbourne. That meant going to TAFE one day a week, and working on the job on the other days, while also studying two nights a week. “It was tough going but I really wanted to learn as much as possible so that I could hit the ground running,” he said.

Steven’s hard work was rewarded with his placing as a finalist in the Australian Apprentice of the Year category in the 2016 Australian Training Awards. He has also become an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador and is doing all he can to spread the word about the value of doing an apprenticeship or traineeship.

“Being an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador is the perfect opportunity to share my story and hopefully positively impact the next generation coming through,” he said.

This desire to help others also saw Steven participate in a program run by Swinburne that took students to remote parts of Cambodia and India to learn about sustainable building methods and to share their skills with local tradespeople. “It blew my mind that I could help to make a positive difference in communities thousands of miles away,” said Steven. “It was a life-changing experience.”

As a member of the VET Alumni Steven has seen enough of Australian Apprenticeships in action to be able to “explode the myth” that the only pathway to a career is via university.

“Vocational education and training offers great diversity—there is so much choice of subject matter and so many possibilities to apply your skills to build a lifelong career. In future I’m looking forward to running my own business—that’s hardly ‘just a job’—it’s a future doing what I love to do. In my books that’s what a successful career looks like.”

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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