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MECHANICAL APPRENTICESHIP HELPED SET YOUNG ENGINEER'S CAREER IN MOTION

Sydney Morning Herald

Wednesday February 9, 2011

Carolyn Boyd

Engineer Tim Clark used his apprenticeship as a way to earn and learn at the same time. The 24-year-old began an apprenticeship as a mechanical fitter after finishing high school.Clark was determined to get a trade and then further his career, so he took on extra study and finished his required certificates in two years. That freed him up to study engineering at TAFE while he completed the on-the-job component of his apprenticeship. Clark's extra qualifications gave him the scope to take on a management role at the Awaba coal mine near Toronto in the Newcastle coalfield region."By the time I finished my trade course, I had a diploma of engineering as well, so I was a qualified tradesman with a diploma of engineering," Clark says.Clark was offered the apprenticeship while he was still in school. He had constructed a buggy during a pre-apprenticeship course and his work impressed Centennial Coal, which took him on board in an apprenticeship that was hosted through group training organisation Hunter-V-Tec."I always wanted to be a mechanical engineer, I always wanted to design or be in charge of jobs," Clark says. "But I needed the money at the same time, so I went and did the fitting course to become a tradesman and I just kept pushing."Clark now oversees a team of 11 workers. In 2009, he was named the Hunter region's apprentice of the year engineering (mechanical) certificate III.

© 2011 Sydney Morning Herald

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