Jake Chilcott was recently named the Apprentice of the Year at the 2023 Tasmanian Training Awards.
Jake, who completed his Certificate III in Electrotechnology at TasTAFE and works for Rio Tinto at Bell Bay Aluminium, said he owes a lot to TasTAFE and their support.
“I was lucky enough to work with a number of teachers that showed great support. The whole system in general is well delivered. Each student is so diverse and has their own challenges, but no matter your challenges there’s plenty of support, you never really felt alone.”
The teachers are fantastic, they take you under their wing and show you the right way. I really enjoyed my time there.”
Jake said he ended up in a career in electrotechnology through trial and error after first studying to be a personal trainer during his college days.
“Throughout college I studied my Certificate III and IV in fitness. Towards the end of my study I realised that I wanted a career change, and I knew that I wanted a trade under my belt. The electrical industry was what most interested me.”
He says he did plenty of research and work experience to find the right trade for him, but always felt a spark for electrotechnology.
“The electrical industry was what interested me most. I did my Certificate II in electrotechnology at TasTAFE, which really set me up with the tools I needed to get my apprenticeship.”
Since beginning his apprenticeship, there’s been no looking back for Jake. He’s excited to have found a home in what is a major growth industry and is hoping to only build upon the skills he has already learnt.
“It’s a great industry to be in. I think we all know the way the future is going, electricity is going to be around and there’s always going to be growth and demand in the industry…There’s endless things to learn and I’ll be learning my whole career.
“I think that’s what excites me about it, there’s so many avenues I can go down and so many chances to develop my own knowledge. I think that’s what I’ll be doing in the near future, expanding on my knowledge and getting associated tickets under my belt. I’m doing my gas course at the moment, and the plan is to do my instrumentation next year.”
Jake knows firsthand how difficult it can be to decide on and settle into an apprenticeship and intends to provide the support he was given at the beginning of his career.
“I would love to offer support to those people who haven’t quite found their feet yet in the industry. I know I was one of those people who got into it and wondered ‘is this too much for me? Do I have the brain capacity for this?’ and that support along the way can really help and build your confidence.
“The people I look up to are the people who have taught me along the way. I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many different people. They’re the ones who have inspired me, so if I could give back to the younger generation, then I would just feel like I’m doing my duty.”
Jake will represent Tasmania at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart.
Article courtesy of TasTAFE