Shannon McNab is the CEO of a thriving international enterprise who spends his spare time building race cars and says opportunities are everywhere for people with a TAFE NSW trade.
“Whether you start at TAFE NSW in a metal trade, a building trade, or a plumbing trade, once you qualify, you have so many options,” he said.
“You can work for a company and earn a wage or start your own company and earn a living for yourself. There are unlimited possibilities.”
Shannon completed a Certificate III in Fitting and Machining at TAFE NSW Orange and in 2005 followed in the footsteps of his dad David McNab, taking over his engineering workshop – Davimac – which was opened in 1983.
Fast forward 15 years, and the business is now a major farm machinery manufacturer with dealerships in Australia and Canada selling grain carts and seed drills for cropping. All handmade in the small regional town of Molong, NSW.
“It started out with just me and two other guys and now we have more than 40 employees. We provide employment for a lot of locals and most of the guys on the workshop floor have a TAFE NSW trade,” Shannon said.
“TAFE NSW gives you the broad skills in trade you need to join a business and then specialise. The on-the-job training combined with the skills TAFE NSW teaches makes you employable across a range of jobs and companies.”
Shannon no longer works on the tools and while he remains head of the company, he now spends much of his time using his metal fabrication skills to build off-road race cars.
He lovingly hand-builds vehicles to compete in the annual Finke Desert Race, a multi-terrain event from Alice Springs to the remote community of Aputula in the Northern Territory. He’s even started a new boutique company, Davimac Motorsports, building custom components for race cars.
“I’m fairly competitive so I love it,” he said.
“I guess that’s all part of running a company – if you always want to be the best at whatever you do, you’ll probably go quite well.”
Shannon said he was never someone who could sit at a desk and do office work.
“I could have gone to university and got a professional job, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy. I knew a trade at TAFE NSW would be better because I wanted to use my hands and build stuff,” he said.
“It’s so satisfying to be part of building something and making it work. What I see with the TAFE NSW graduates is that they have good life skills and they can problem solve. Having employees who can tackle any task that comes their way is valuable for any business and for the individual themselves.”
Shannon said there has never been a better time to get a trade than now, with skills shortages in many industries, and businesses right across regional NSW crying out for more workers.
“We would take as many people as we can get – there’s a shortage at the minute, so wages are high and opportunities are everywhere,” Shannon said.
Explore hundreds of traineeships and apprenticeships at TAFE NSW and pursue your passion with life-changing training. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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