A skillset for life

Warwick Johnstone was 17 when he enrolled in an Australian School-based Apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery.

In his second year, his outstanding achievements in the trade saw him win the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year at the 2007 Australian Training Awards.

Now aged 28, Warwick said he is enjoying his career in the building industry and is undertaking a Bachelor of Construction Management.

“My Australian School-based Apprenticeship helped me grow up and become independent at a young age,” Warwick said.

“I developed a skillset that I will have for life while completing secondary school which left the option of university study open".

“I had the opportunity to step up into leadership roles throughout my apprenticeship as a leading hand and eventually a site supervisor.”

Warwick is now employed by a commercial construction company in Melbourne as a senior estimator for Perkins TPD.

“As an estimator, I’ve found it much easier coming from a trades- based background. I have learnt to speak the same language as the sub-contractors and their staff. Without that knowledge in the back of my mind my work would be much harder,” Warwick said.

He has this advice for secondary school students considering an Australian School-based Apprenticeship.

“I think it’s important for everyone entering the trades to know that an apprenticeship is a dynamic career path and can lead you in many directions that may not be clear right now but will continually change, and one day become clear!"

“Don’t be daunted by the opportunities in front of you - it is rare that anyone at a young age has a clear idea of exactly what they want to do. Shortlist a few trades you are interested in and approach local businesses to do some work experience."

“Initially, you will be out of your comfort zone, but remember that just because you choose a certain job it does not mean you are committed to that job for the rest of your life".

“There are so many opportunities to move into different areas of your industry or a completely different industry once you are qualified.”

To see Warwick at work, watch The Estimator: Warwick’s story.

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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