Engineering a spot on career

31-year-old Tom Spottswood has enjoyed a successful and varied career since the completion of his Australian Apprenticeship in engineering almost seven years ago.

During his school years, Tom was certain he wanted to be an engineer.

Having a passion for design and development, it seemed only natural that after Year 12 he enrolled as a first-year engineering student at university.

“At university I found myself going through the theory in textbooks over and over again, unable to make a clear connection between the practical and the theoretical side of engineering," Tom said.

"Unsure of what other options were available to me I re-enrolled for my second year.

"It was the same process all over again and so it was then that I knew something needed to change."

With a passion for research and design in the engineering trade, Tom decided to start an Australian Apprenticeship in engineering (mechanical trade) in the timber industry.

“My apprenticeship was a fantastic stepping stone in my career," he said.

"The Certificate III in Engineering was an obvious choice as it was able to provide the foundations of the mechanical engineering discipline that I always wanted to pursue."

In 2007, Tom was awarded the Australian Apprentice of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards.

Since this time, Tom’s skills have taken him as far as the United Kingdom where he was an engineering technical co-ordinator for an international retail company, United Biscuits.

He also worked for some time as a mechanical maintenance technician for Rio Tinto Alcan and is now a project co-ordinator for Goodline, a construction company in the resources sector where he is enjoying a diverse and financially rewarding career.

“Prior to completing my Australian Apprenticeship more than six years ago, I had no idea how extensive the advantages could be, nor did I expect the doors that it could open," he said.

"I have a strong career path ahead of me and should move into a project manager role in the near future.

"It is truly inspiring what can be learnt through undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship."

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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