A Kensington local has credited TAFE NSW with helping him forge a successful career in glazing, having recently been awarded NSW and National Apprentice of the Year by the Australian Glass and Window Association (AGWA).
22-year-old Michael O’Rourke studied a Certificate III in Glass and Glazing at TAFE NSW Lidcombe, and now works as a glazier at Protec Aluminium and Glazing, with plans to open his own business.
“I’ve always had a passion for the industry – my father is a master glazier so it’s something I’ve been exposed to from a young age. I was over the moon when I found out I won National Apprentice of the Year – it’s a big goal I’ve had for a while,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“After completing Year 12 and getting an ATAR, I decided to follow my passion and enrol in the course at TAFE NSW to kickstart my career in glazing. I think there’s a misconception that the HSC is the be all and end all, but it’s definitely not the right path for everyone.
“TAFE NSW gave me the hands-on skills I needed to succeed in the workplace, and I look forward to starting my own company. I’d like to specialise in all types of glazing, with a focus on reliability and great quality products.”
National Industry Development Manager at AGWA, Melissa Baker said their apprentice awards look not only for the ability to demonstrate the highest quality of workmanship, but also for the contribution the apprentice will make to the industry as they progress their career.
“With apprentices coming through that are the caliber of Michael, the future of our industry is in good hands,” Ms Baker said.
TAFE NSW Glass and Glazing Head Teacher Mark Nicholls said students like Michael are testament to the opportunities practical skills training provides.
“The nationally recognised Certificate III in Glass and Glazing provide students with the specialist skills they need to become a trade qualified glazier and work on exciting residential, commercial and large-scale infrastructure projects,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Through theoretical and practical course work, students learn in-demand skills such as how to cut glass by hand and process glass using machinery, along with the knowledge and know-how required to start their own sole trader business.”
To find out more about the range of trade courses available at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
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