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Hands-on learning for Austin

Monday 29 July 2019

A passion for practical learning saw Austin Wilson follow a vocational education and training pathway during his SACE – and secure an apprenticeship.

Austin Wilson

Web Content Display (Global)

"If you have a goal, you can achieve it."

Some variation of this has been repeated in just about every high school graduation speech ever delivered. 

Thanks to the flexibility of the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), it is now true for more students than ever before.

Whyalla-based apprentice electrician Austin Wilson says he never would've gained the leg up he's had if it weren't for the assistance of his teachers at Edward John Eyre High School.

A practical, hands-on learner, Austin knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career as a tradesman and he was prepared to put in the hard yards to make it happen.

Driven by both a desire to succeed and, he admits, the prospect of finishing school early, he completed the SACE in record time.

In 2017, while Austin was in Year 11, he started a Certificate II in Electrotechnology.

As part of his training he did a few weeks of work experience with Aquest Electrical, who were so impressed with the young man they offered him a school based apprenticeship.

He completed his SACE and converted to a full time apprentice at the end of the first semester of 2018. He completed all of his units within the first six months of Year 12, whilst doing just two days a week in the classroom. 

Austin never would've been able to achieve what he has professionally at such a young age if it weren't for the SACE, he says, or the support of both his employer and teachers.

"The school really played a big role in me getting my apprenticeship," he explained.

"They helped me organise all of my work experience. I definitely would've had trouble with it if I'd have just done Year 12 and then went out and looked for a job."

"All of my lessons and work and stuff (were tailored to my needs too). Because I was down to doing one lesson a week... all of the work I had was cut back and really specialised for me.

"It was all organised so that I wouldn't have this massive workload on my shoulders while I was working and going to trade school as well."