Nineteen-year-old Brendon has had a few false starts in getting his career started. School wasn’t for him and working in a lumber yard told him he wanted a hands-on career. He tried his hand working with an electrician, but it wasn’t quite right, either. He got his start in plumbing with a large domestic firm.
“There were eight or ten of us first year apprentices,” he says. “I really loved it, but as soon as the three months was up we were all given notice. We realised we were just being used as cheap labour.”
He didn’t give up his passion. Brendon has a new apprenticeship now and a great new boss. “He’s all about his employees. He treats everyone respectfully and all the blokes are qualified and good teachers. I’m learning so much.”
Brendon’s finding it tough on a first apprentice wage to buy the tools he needs and pay his TAFE fees.
“We do all kinds of work, from domestic to irrigation to commercial, maintenance, everything,” Brendon says.
“It’s great because I love the variety, but it means I need extra tools for specific jobs. The Reece Grant will make a big difference to me. I’ll be able to pay my TAFE, buy the tools I need and start to save for a ute. It’s all about being able to do my job.”
One of the things Brendon likes most about his job is that it leaves him plenty of time at the end of the day for his sport. He plays a lot of basketball, is in the Youth League, plays seniors football and goes to the gym. He loves keeping active and being outdoors.
Brendon is looking forward to seeing through his apprenticeship, getting stuck into the work and eventually working towards running his own business someday.