Grant Hetherington - Engineering Fabrication
Finalist, 2011 ACT Training Excellence Awards, 2011 Vikings Group ACT Australian Apprentice of the Year
I'm a 21-year-old metal fabricator who chose to take on an apprenticeship and CIT's Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication Trades course after finishing high school, turning down a place at the University of Canberra. I have never looked back.
My apprenticeship with Still Standing Sheet Metal was fasttracked and I was able to complete a four-year apprenticeship in three years. This was possible because I could learn and use skills in both the classroom and workplace, at a rapid rate. I loved learning new skills off the job at CIT and then being able to take these skills back to work the next day and put them into practice.
This to me is a very logical and efficient way to learn new skills. You are reinforcing them - at CIT and at work straight away.
Having finished my apprenticeship I am now in a more senior position within the business and enjoy working as part of a team of fabricators that consists of one first-year apprentice, two fourth-year apprentices and me. This has presented me with lots of opportunities to develop my team and leadership skills and I have really enjoyed mentoring other apprentices and passing on my skills.
I was partially educated on-the-job by a tradesman who had spent 50 years working with sheet metal. I was extremely fortunate that he taught me old fashioned sheet metal techniques. As a result I was able to impress my employer in the early years of my apprenticeship by grasping the old fashioned sheet metal skills I was learning on the job and mixing that with what I was learning in the modern education system at CIT. I was able to fabricate jobs more efficiently in both material usage and time.
I am looking forward to continuing to develop these skills and build my experience in the industry with the hope of running my own metal fabrication business someday.