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CIT carpentry apprentice takes out top ACT award

Published: 01 Oct 2019

Constructing model planes as a child and studying woodwork in high school were part of the journey through which James White discovered his passion for precise cutting, shaping and building with his hands. James completed a Certificate III in Carpentry at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and was recently named 2019 ACT Apprentice of the Year.

Reflecting upon this path, James says he was always keen on becoming a builder as, "It is a hands-on trade which provides the opportunity to work with what I consider to be the most versatile and decorative building material - that is, timber."

Post-secondary school, James completed a Diploma of Leadership Management and enrolled in university to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering. However, "Hands-on work rather than the theory-based career path offered by engineering was much more aligned with my passion," James said.

Since commencing study at CIT, James completed a full renovation of his home, including the design and construction of a 125 square metre deck. "This would not have been possible without the training and experience gained through CIT and my apprenticeship," James said.

The skills critical to carpentry and joinery are developed through mentorship and the teachings of experienced carpenters, but according to James, the training is also about developing the right approach. "Critical to the delivery of quality work is the need for accuracy and attention to detail," he said.

"The skills I have learned both through CIT and on the job have provided the foundation for a long-term, successful and rewarding career," James said.

James will progress to the Australian Training Awards, which will be held in Brisbane on 21 November. "I look forward to the new challenge of representing CIT, the institution that together with my employer, helped me to learn, develop and become the tradesman I am today," James said.

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