In­dus­try train­ing for school leavers – a fast track to suc­cess?

Australasian Timber - - ASSOCIATIONS - By Colin Fitz­patrick

For school leavers fac­ing anx­i­ety about their fu­ture, a trainee­ship may be just what they need. Just ask Ben Cousins, whose tran­si­tion from school into fur­ther stud­ies – with a full-time in­come – could not have been smoother.

Two weeks af­ter fin­ish­ing Year 12 in 2014, Ben was em­ployed by ITI Australia, do­ing a trainee­ship and a Cert IV in Lead­er­ship & Man­age­ment with them, and earn­ing de­cent money.

Fast for­ward 2.5 years and he’s also just won 2017 TABMA Trainee of the Year.

And it didn’t cost him a cent. Nada. No study debt hang­ing over his head.

To Ben, choos­ing in­dus­try train­ing over univer­sity was a no-brainer from the start.

“When I was com­plet­ing Year 12, there was a heavy push for us to get a univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion, but I de­cided it wasn’t some­thing that I wanted to pur­sue,” he says.

“I just wanted to get out in the work­force…but at the same time I knew I needed some kind of ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tion. When I was of­fered this trainee­ship I knew that it was a per­fect fit for me,” he says.

Ben’s host trainer, Leon Rayner of ITI Australia, says the com­pany has seen 18 TABMA/ITI cadets across the coun­try com­plete train­ing with TABMA over the past three years. He says hands-on ap­pren­tice­ships/ trainee­ships are a great way to learn.

“In just two years, trainee cadets gain in­dus­try- spe­cific ed­u­ca­tion, a recog­nised qual­i­fi­ca­tion, and knowl­edge that would oth­er­wise take an em­ployee about 10 years to ac­quire through nor­mal day-to-day busi­ness,” Leon says.

“Ben now has a num­ber of path­ways open for his ca­reer – each al­most guar­an­teed to be a suc­cess and with a bet­ter than av­er­age in­come; and we of­fer ev­ery­thing from a broad over­view of the timber in­dus­try, from forestry through to the end user.”

Skilled work­ers are in short sup­ply in Australia, and have a high earn­ing ca­pac­ity and there are thou­sands of skilled and re­ward­ing jobs out there that don’t re­quire a de­gree, with well-pay­ing, up­wardly mo­bile ca­reers.

And there are great op­por­tu­ni­ties for travel train­ing for a trade equips you for jobs all over the world.

For Ben, the trainee­ship has ob­vi­ously been the right choice for him: “I have learnt so much from it; hope­fully it’s just the be­gin­ning of a great ca­reer with ITI.”

To school leavers still suf­fo­cat­ing un­der the painful de­ci­sion of what to do in 2018, he has the fol­low­ing ad­vice:

“If you’re not sure that univer­sity is the path you want to take, then keep your mind open to other op­por­tu­ni­ties, be­cause there are def­i­nitely plenty out there.

“And once you find one, don’t hes­i­tate: jump on it.”

“In just two years, trainee cadets gain in­dus­try-spe­cific ed­u­ca­tion, a recog­nised qual­i­fi­ca­tion, and knowl­edge that would oth­er­wise take an em­ployee about 10 years to ac­quire through nor­mal day-to­day busi­ness.”

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer

Timber & Build­ing Ma­te­ri­als As­so­ci­a­tion (Aust.) Ltd

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