Josh Davies - Sheet Metal Fabrication
I completed the Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication Trade at CIT, with the on-the-job training at ACT Stainless Steel.
Growing up I always enjoyed working outdoors and thought I might enjoy carpentry as a career. When I completed year 12, I had a number of friends who decided to do carpentry apprenticeships, so I decided I would do something different. After I looked around, I decided to do a sheet metal fabrication apprenticeship.
My apprenticeship consisted of four years – three years of combined study and the final year purely on-the-job training. Now that I've completed my apprenticeship, I'm working as a fully-qualified sheet metal fabricator at ACT Stainless Steel. During high school and college I was never a very academic student but now having completed my apprenticeship, I am excelling in my career and producing work I am proud of.
One of the best experienced I had during my studies was participating in the WorldSkills. WorldSkills is a competition which provides an opportunity for young people to showcase their trade and skill talent. I was encouraged to get involved by my teacher at CIT, and I participated in the light metal fabrication category. I ended up winning the gold medal at the ACT regional competition.
I then advanced onto the WorldSkills National competition in Sydney and was the first ACT winner from my category to ever achieve this. The national competition took place over three days and saw 500 of Australia's best students, apprentices and trainees compete for gold in their area of study. On the day, there was very tough competition and I placed sixth in Australia.
WorldSkills National was such a great experience where I got to meet so many people from my trade and placing sixth in the competition pushed me to keep learning and improving my skills.
I would encourage anyone thinking about a sheet metal fabrication apprenticeship at CIT to go for it. It is one of the lesser-known trades but I feel it's one of the most rewarding. I also understand the difficulties apprentices face. It is a lot easier to get a casual job and earn more money in a shorter period of time, but by doing an apprenticeship you're gaining a life skill that you will always have behind you. You learn so much more than just the trade - you learn about life skills, paperwork and how to communicate with others.
Working in a trade is more than a career - it's a way of life. Personally, I find it so rewarding and I am always excited to get out of bed in the morning and go to work, knowing I'll be doing something that I love.