Patrick Nicol has always been interested in plumbing, so when he was offered a job through his surf life saving club with Andrew Cross Plumbing he didn’t hesitate.
In Year 10 Patrick signed up for a School Based Apprenticeship in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Draining Certificate III, with the help of his school careers advisor at St Augustine’s College Brookvale.
Patrick has a great appreciation for the opportunities the School Based Apprenticeship provided, allowing him to stay at school to complete his HSC and at the same time earn money while learning and working. He made great friends at TAFE and was able to immediately put into practice on the job site everything he had learned in his classes.
Last year Patrick was named the 2010 School Based Apprentice of the Year in the Central and Northern Sydney Region, and then a finalist for the 2010 NSW School Based Apprentice of the Year Award.
Patrick encourages people to consider taking up an apprenticeship, saying “learn a little bit about the trade by talking to someone already working in the industry, or finding someone you would like to work for and talking to them, you could even try out the job first.”
Patrick found that the discipline and time management he learnt at his surf club helped him to cope with the challenges of balancing work and school.
Now that he has finished school, Patrick has a two-year head start in his apprenticeship and hopes to be fully qualified by the time he is 20.
He is now working full time for a larger plumbing company and looks forward to starting his own business one day.
State Training Services
Ph: 13 2811