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.”