Earn while you learn

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

Young adults contemplating life af­ter school face a sim­i­lar dilemma: go to univer­sity, get a de­gree, and po­ten­tially rack up a huge stu­dent loan. Or find a ca­reer path that lets you earn while you learn.

At 23 years of age, Michael Abel is al­ready con­vinced he made the right choice.

“Uni’s good fun so­cially with your mates, but do­ing this was not only good fun,” he said. “I’ve learnt heaps of life skills and I do seem to be get­ting ahead in life com­pared to the guys who went to uni. They’re still try­ing to catch up and get them­selves sorted, while I’m miles ahead.”

Michael chose to take up a trade as soon as he left school, en­rolling in a Na­tional Cer­tifi­cate of Me­chan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing. His ded­i­ca­tion and smarts caught the eye of dairy gi­ant Fon­terra, which em­ployed him as an engi­neer­ing ap­pren­tice.

One ad­van­tage of learn­ing a trade is the op­por­tu­ni­ties it presents na­tion­ally and glob­ally – es­pe­cially when work­ing with a large multi­na­tional like Fon­terra.

But it’s not just the ca­reer prospects with the com­pany that have Michael con­vinced he’s made the right de­ci­sion.

“I can go any­where in the world with this qual­i­fi­ca­tion and pick up work,” he says. “Op­por­tu­nity-wise, it’s huge. I can es­sen­tially choose the place in the world I want to go, and go there.”

Michael Abel, an ap­pren­tice engi­neer at Fon­terra.

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