We recently had the chance to meet Stephanie Truscott, an enthusiastic apprentice in mechanical engineering with HVTC and TAFE. She was on site at the Port Kembla Steelworks, gaining first-hand exposure and insights into BlueScope manufacturing. Stephanie was kind enough to answer our questions about the apprenticeship experience.
What motivated you to start an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering?
I used to work in mining and before that I worked in an office. I’ve always known that I wanted to do hands-on work, so it was a great opportunity to work for a massive, globally-renowned company. I just really wanted to get in there and so far it’s amazing. Being in an industry like mining, working with trucks, resources and steel, I realised that this is the sort of industry that I really enjoy. I left mining, had a family and now I’m back doing a trade recently, starting on 7 January this year.
Has anything surprised you since you started?
Not having used hand tools at all has been quite a surprise and a bit of a challenge (for example, things filing and hacksawing). My attitude has just been to practise, practise, practise.
How would you describe going on-site at BlueScope?
I did a tour of BlueScope back when I was in high school, although now that I have more trade knowledge, it’s cool and I really like it. We went to No. 5 Blast Furnace and the steel-rolling mill. It was interesting to watch the plates being rolled.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
It’s still pretty early on and we’ll be rotating through different areas for the next year. I’m just excited and eager to learn with each new experience.
What would you say to others who may be considering an apprenticeship or trade role?
You really just have to be open to learning. You’ll learn everything at TAFE but then when you go into your certain departments, you’ll just focus on a few special things. If you find that you’re not particularly good at something, they’ll make sure to up-skill you in that area.
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