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VET shows you great career options without having to go to uni.

James posing with building tools belt
VET Building and Construction
VET Engineering
VET Automotive
Apprentice carpenter

Why I chose VET

I’ve always wanted to be a skilled tradesman. I chose VET Building and Construction because I wanted a pathway into the building trade and to have the skill set to be successful. I chose VET Engineering because I also wanted to be a qualified welder and metal fabricator. I chose VET Automotive to get the skills to service and fit out my work ute and trailer.

What I got out of VET

Thanks to VET, I gained a wide range of skills in different trade areas. VET Building and Construction helped me to get an apprenticeship in the building industry and to be an asset to the company from day one. The welding and steel fabrication skills that I developed through VET Engineering are an added advantage that only a few people in the company have.

My VET success story

I decided to do VCE so I could combine my VET programs with VCE studies such as Product Design and Technology (Metals) so that I could build a tray for my work ute. I secured a school-based apprenticeship (also known as an SBAT) with a local builder through a group training organisation in Mildura. This was really good and it confirmed to me that I wanted to be a builder. During this time I went to TAFE and found it beneficial and easy. Unfortunately the builder ran out of work and I was laid off.

I finished the school year and gained my VCE but no apprenticeship. I had plenty of casual work – and did a week of engineering work and was offered an apprenticeship – but I wanted to be a builder first.

I enquired around for jobs and eventually had three more building trials but for different business reasons, none worked out. With a lot of persistence I finally secured a work trial with a great local company in Mildura and I was offered an apprenticeship.

I work on different residential and commercial jobs and I’m always learning new skills from the tradesman I work with. I really enjoy going to work and at the end of each work day, I have a real sense of achievement.

I’m also a volunteer firefighter with the Merbein CFA, where I’ve managed renovation works at the depot and built a divider wall, seating, uniform racks and cupboards.

My advice

Just because you may not be good academically at school, it doesn’t mean you don’t give it your best. If you have a goal and work hard, the teachers will help you to achieve it.

James's VET success story (pdf - 1.14mb)

My career pathway

1 Completed

building iconVET Building and Construction (SBAT)
VET Engineering
VET Automotive
Product Design and Technology
cogs iconEnvironmental Science
Further Mathematics
Started Certificate III in Carpentry (SBAT)car icon

2 Current

TAFEstar medal icon
Certificate III in Carpentry
Certificate IV in Engineering – Fabrication

Employed full-timedollar sign icon
Apprentice carpenter

Volunteer work
Country Fire Authority
Australian Army Reserve
Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation
Taekwondo instructor

3 Career Goals

Employed full time
Highly skilled builder carpenter, engineer fabricator and plant operator

My Awards

Long Tan Youth Leadership &
Teamwork Awards recipient, ADF

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