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.”