Meet our Apprentices
When Ben spent a week in one of State Transit’s maintenance workshops for work experience as a 14 year old, he loved it so much he asked to go back for a second week the following year.
“I was sent out to the Western Regional Workshop and I loved it down there,” Ben said.
“I was given exposure to how major works were carried out such as changing the entire floor of a bus or doing panel work after major accidents. I always knew I wanted to do hands on work and didn’t want to work in an office, so when the time came, I applied for an apprenticeship at State Transit.”
Now in his first year as an Apprentice Body Repairer, Ben is located at the Western Regional Workshop and says he has loved his job from the word go.
“I wasn’t nervous at all about starting my apprenticeship at the Regional Workshop because after my previous work experience it just felt like I was going back.
“I love the learning I receive both on the job and at TAFE where I attend once a week. I also love the hands on experience I am getting and the guys in the workshop are great and do their best to train me.
“One of the best things for me is that I get my own tool box,” Ben said.
A typical day for Ben starts with him signing on, putting on his personal protective gear and participating in a toolbox talk where the day’s jobs are allocated.
“I like the more complex work – I’m not that fussed on changing seat covers but I get the job done anyway,” Ben said.
“I am proudest of my biggest job which involved changing the entire bus floor.”
When Ben finishes his apprenticeship, he hopes to secure a permanent job at State Transit’s Ryde Depot and work his way up the career chain.
“The real strength of the apprenticeship program has been the variety of work I have been exposed to, the job security, the great working conditions, and the fact that I am provided with my own safety gear and tools,” Ben said.
“An apprenticeship is a great opportunity for learning.”
A keen interest in fixing things, including doing his own maintenance work on his cars, led Douglas to apply for an adult apprenticeship in heavy vehicle motor mechanics at State Transit.
“I always wanted to be a pilot, so I studied Physics at school and Aviation at TAFE which dabbled in combustion engines and electrical systems. Unfortunately the cost of becoming a pilot was more than I could afford,” Douglas said.
“This led me to consider other options where I could still use the knowledge I had already gained about the workings of combustion engines and other related subjects, so I applied for an apprenticeship in Heavy Vehicle Motor Mechanics.”
Although a little anxious when he first started as an apprentice, it didn’t take Douglas long to fit in at State Transit.
“I have found that if you want to learn and you show you are eager, the tradesmen will encourage you and won't mind if you ask them lots of questions to learn better ways of doing jobs. I always say yes if I get asked if I want to have a go at something new because I think it’s the best way to learn.”
A typical day for Douglas starts with him changing into his personal protective gear and reporting to the Leading Hand to be assigned his jobs for the day. This may also involve being assigned to a tradesperson, depending on the difficulty of the job.
“I find it fulfilling receiving a job card and confidently getting the job done, then filling out and returning the completed job card,” Douglas said.
“I could not have imagined being able to remove an engine or install a gear box in one of those huge buses. That's something that I am definitely proud of.
“Getting paid to learn is the best part. I highly recommend State Transit’s apprentice program because it has been an amazing opportunity for me to learn a trade, get quality hands on experience and obtain a nationally recognised qualification.”