Kennedy students have the opportunity to complete VET courses through the VET delivered to Secondary Students (VETdSS) program. In this issue, we feature Matthew who after completing his pre-apprenticeship in automotive servicing, was one of a handful of applicants who successfully secured an apprenticeship with the Japanese multinational company, Komatsu.
First of all Matthew, congratulations. Tell us about your apprenticeship with Komatsu.
Well, the application process was quite tough. I had to go through a few interviews but in the end, I was lucky enough to get chosen.
To be one of five WA applicants out of around 1800, are you really that lucky?
I’m lucky enough to have a pop who was a mechanic. He was the one who got me into the mechanical side of things, fixing whipper snippers and helping me to build go-karts. Dad is also a builder so, I guess being hands-on and fixing and building things runs in the family. Mom is also always there to give encouragement when things go a bit rough. My parents taught me the value of hard work, to not muck around, you know! You don’t need to always have the best grades, but you do need to always put in your best effort.
Shout out also to the College, for putting the VETdSS program on my radar and giving me the opportunity and encouragement to complete the courses I did.
Speaking of the VETdSS, what was the experience like for you?
Well, I did the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation at South Metro TAFE in Year 11 and at the end of the year, was selected to continue with the Cert II in Automotive Servicing, which is a pre-apprenticeship course. The lecturers really know their stuff and it was great to learn the trade from them in a practical setting. Doing the pre-apprenticeship also required me to complete work placements. I did that through a couple of auto mechanics and again, learning from the pros was a great experience.
How did you manage to juggle your school work and your VET course?
The study periods really helped me catch up with school work and the teachers are also understanding enough to give me extensions when I need it. The important thing is to remain motivated. I got to give myself permission to have a bit of fun sometimes, but not all the time. Got to keep my eyes on the prize, I suppose and this has helped me stay focused.
Matthew’s focus, humility, and strong work ethic have made him a lucky young man and we wish him all the luck as he embarks on the next chapter of his journey.
Interviewed by Mr Ernesto Ramirez
VET/Workplace Learning/S.I.D.E. Coordinator