2017 VET Students of the Year
Lachlan Rye 2016 Illawarra VET Student of the Year
Brett Willims 2015 Illawarra VET Student of the Year
“Hello my name is Sallee Webster. I am 19 years old and I am currently in my first year apprenticeship with J.K. Engineering Pty Ltd. Leaving school and not always knowing what path to take next can be a pretty daunting feeling for most of us. I will share with you my journey and the pathways I have taken to where I am now.
I attended Nowra High School from 2007 until 2012. In year 11 and 12, I selected Design & Technology and Metal & Engineering as a part of my senior electives. In year 11 we were required to complete two weeks of work placement. I requested to work at J.K Engineering located at South Nowra.
My request was accepted and I began my work placement. My day began at 7 am and I finished at 3 pm. During my 2 week placement I worked on various types of machinery, I visited a few different work sites and I gained general knowledge in this line of work. After completing the 2 weeks I was offered an apprenticeship with J.K. Engineering.
Although I was extremely tempted to accept this offer, I also wanted to complete my final year of schooling and gain my High School Certificate so I decided to decline.Fortunately for me, J.K Engineering gave me the option to re-consider their offer of an apprenticeship at a later date and for me to contact them if I wished to pursue metal engineering as my career.
After gaining my HSC in 2012 I decided on a gap year and I worked for 12 months in retail. During this time I was able to earn some money and have a break from studying. Completing my 12 month gap year and working in retail I was ready to move on but what path was I to take now? I was still very keen on a career in the metals engineering industry and I decided I should give it a go.
Fortunately I was re-offered the opportunity of a 4 year apprenticeship that began in early 2014 with JK Engineering. At first I was put on a 3 month trial and after completing my trial I enrolled at Wollongong TAFE. I attend TAFE every Tuesday as a part of my apprenticeship.
Currently I am the only female in my work place but I’m respectfully treated as an equal and being the only female in my work place hasn’t held me back in anyway.
Finally, I would like to say choosing a career can be difficult and can come with many uncertainties but, realistically you’ll never know unless you give it a go! I am so glad I did.”
John K Engineering Pty Ltd have been providing quality industry training to students in metal & engineering since 2006.
“The father and son team of John & Jamie Kochaniewicz are incredibly supportive of the many students they have helped train over the years and are the perfect hosts for students”, according to Shoalhaven School – Business Partnership Manager and coordinator of student workplacements, Linda Hawkins. “They combine a commitment to the local community with their business interests and through this provide a first rate training experience for young people. The 30 or more students they have assisted since they become involved have been wonderfully mentored to complete their metal and engineering course and move on to whatever the future holds”, she concluded.
Workplace Learning Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands expects to complete some 3,600 workplacements with 900 different host employers in 2014. About 350 of these will be metal and engineering placements.