Age no bar­rier for ap­pren­tice

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - BETTER BUSINESS -

AT 54, Dave (Zac) Smith is proof you’re never too old to learn some­thing new. Zac, who works in the main­te­nance work­shop at Costa’s Corindi farm, has just started his ap­pren­tice­ship as a light ve­hi­cle me­chanic, do­ing one day a week at TAFE. “I came to Costa af­ter the busi­ness I worked for closed down and I thought I’d be pick­ing blue­ber­ries, but I ended up in the work­shop, which was per­fect,” Zac said. Zac started his first trade in 1979 as a spray pain­ter and has worked in a num­ber of in­dus­tries since, in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture build­ing and heavy ve­hi­cle sal­vage. “I have al­ways played around with cars and mo­tor­bikes, and work­ing in the spray paint­ing trade you pick up skills along the way,” he said. “But with mod­ern tech­nol­ogy there’s a lot of di­ag­nos­tics that you need to know. “When I did my Per­sonal De­vel­op­ment Plan I said I was keen to do more train­ing, and then I was of­fered this ap­pren­tice­ship. “It has been a bit of a chal­lenge, but it’s good be­cause I can pass on my knowl­edge to some of the younger stu­dents and I am def­i­nitely learn­ing new things. “I al­ways re­mem­ber some­one telling me — ‘it’s no bur­den to carry knowl­edge around with you’.” Zac said work­ing at Costa was a wel­come change from work­ing in heavy sal­vage, where he was called out in all weather, day and night, fol­low­ing truck crashes or break­downs.

Photo: con­trib­uted

IN THE WORK­SHOP: Zac Smith at Costa Blue­ber­ries.

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