TAFE Queensland SkillsTech graduate, 24-year-old, James Sharvell of Everton Park was considering accountancy as his career choice when he was still at school.
 
James was working towards the required OP, when he completed a work placement and realised he didn’t feel comfortable in an office nine-to-five job; the career he had strived for didn’t seem right.
 
“I realised I didn’t want to work in an office, so started doing some labouring, but no one was hiring unskilled workers,” James said.
 
“I thought the best course of action was to complete a plumbing pre-apprenticeship course to help me get a job.
 
“Before I finished my pre-apprenticeship course, I was approaching local employers for work and secured an apprenticeship.
 
“My twin brother was smart; he started a school based-apprenticeship with the same employer, so he is a couple of years ahead of me.”
 
James has now completed his apprenticeship and with funding help from CSQ he graduated at the end of 2015 with a Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services Operations.
 
“A lot of my plumber mates say they don’t have time to train for higher qualifications, but I just don’t understand this thinking.
 
“There are night-time classes, a blend of online training at home or in the classroom and you can even work in class on a project from work that needs completing, so saving time for your employer, too.
 
“Plus, with CSQ subsidies available it really is a no brainer for me to get my licence, and a higher qualification for my future goals and looks great on my resume!
 
“I have to say, my TAFE experience was awesome. I could come into class and had teachers to access. This wasn’t something I could have just done online. We learnt by example and how to best plan for a project; we worked together to get things done.
 
“The teachers ran us through the process and ensured we understood.”
 
When asked how he benefitted from the CSQ subsidised training the answer was simple: the lower cost.
 
“The Certificate IV helps a lot with getting a job,” James explained.
 
“When I was looking for work, a lot of employers wanted this qualification; it definitely makes a difference getting the full endorsement.
 
“I chose a trade because it’s a career. A lot of my mates have jobs where they are just constantly looking at the clock, waiting for the day to end, but my training gives me a chance to excel.
 
“Sometimes my mates laugh at my job, the jokes you’d expect for a plumber, but it is good work and to be honest I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
 
James’s future plans include his own business with his twin brother.
 
“They say don’t go into business with family,” James said.
 
“However, we’re a good team and now that I have this qualification, it’s something we’re both planning for in the future.”
 
If you want a future trade career, there are limited CSQ funding spots still available to enrol in courses for 2016, call TAFE Queensland SkillsTech on 1800 654 447 to see if you’re eligible.