Colin Humphrey has always enjoyed designing and “making stuff”, so it was no surprise that his VCE subjects included Systems Engineering and Design & Technology—metals. Still, he had no set ideas about a career.

“One day in Design & Technology, Danny, who is now my boss, came to speak to our class and my teacher, Stuart Hamilton, encouraged me to think about work experience. “I had never done anything like this before I started at Bendigo Air and Hydraulics. At the end I was offered a school-based apprenticeship as a Machinist.”

BSSC’s VET & RTO Manager, Jenny Moloney, said that Colin’s achievement was a great example of students connecting their studies to local employment opportunities. “Workplace learning can really kickstart a young person’s career,” she said.

For Colin it did just that. “When I was offered the apprenticeship, I was able to adjust my VCE program so I had Thursdays free to go to work,” Colin explained. “The college made all of that really easy to manage. I would recommend a school-based apprenticeship to anyone interested in a trade.

Colin’s new job involves custom cutting and machining of metals to specific designs for specific purposes. “At the moment I’m making parts for construction equipment, including a hydraulic steering rack for a forklift,” he said.

Earlier this month, at Bendigo TAFE’s Apprentice and Industry Awards night, Colin was awarded First Year Engineering Apprentice of the Year for 2017. He will spend seven weeks this year at TAFE as he continues his full-time apprenticeship.