James, Plumbing apprenticeship
Describe your average day
In the morning I ride my push bike over to the other apprentices' house and we drive to Traralgon to meet the boss and the other plumbers. We discuss what job we are doing, where we are going, organise what tools and equipment we need, then drive to the site.
At the moment I am working on the plumbing for the underslab of a new town house. It involves a lot of time using the shovel!
How did you find out about this apprenticeship?
I was in Year 12 and keen to leave to start an apprenticeship, so I had a chat to my mum and dad and they said I couldn't leave unless I had an apprenticeship to go to. I contacted Eastern Victorian Group Training who found an employer willing to take me on. I would have completed Year 12 if I didn't have this job to go, but I was offered an apprenticeship.
What did you want to do after high school? Did you have any work experience?
I had work experience in Year 10 with a mechanic and didn't like it at all; I didn't like being stuck in a shed all day. In Year 11 I did a VET course (Vocational Educational Training) with a builder and while I was working with him, I gave the plumber a hand for two days and realised that was what I wanted to do ? I really liked it.
What do you like most about the apprenticeship?
Knowing this apprenticeship is giving me a future. I'm working outdoors, getting paid to work, and I'm not stuck in school.
What is the most interesting thing you have done during your apprenticeship?
Simply learning how a tap works and just learning how everything to do with plumbing works, it's all interesting when you are learning.
What training is included in your apprenticeship?
I have TAFE one week a month and my boss shows me how to do everything each time we do something new. Once he has shown me, I go away and do it and he checks up on me to make sure I am doing it right. There are four other plumbers on the job and they all help in teaching me the trade.
What skills do you need for the apprenticeship?
You definitely need initiative, common sense, be a hard worker and enjoy working outside. You have to have fun on the job and like the people you work with because this is what you are going to be doing for the rest of your life.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to finish my apprenticeship, become a licensed plumber and start my own plumbing business in Moe.
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).