Careers & Training

Young gun secures sought-after Qld apprenticeship

TAFE Queensland Automotive student Kade Dupere has secured a highly competitive and sought-after diesel fitting apprenticeship with well-known national equipment supplier Hastings Deering.

The 17-year-old applied for the role in mid-2020 while completing Year 12 at Redeemer Lutheran College, which included a Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation through the TAFE at School program.

Hastings Deering received a total of 2695 applications and Dupere is among the youngest new recruits. He joined 38 others from across Queensland and the Northern Territory for his first week of work at the machinery giant’s Brisbane headquarters for two weeks of induction training.

“I decided to apply for a diesel fitting apprenticeship with Hastings Deering because they’re a company who values their employees. They also have a strong dedication to safety, which is so important, especially in the mining and construction industry,” Dupere said.

“Although there is never a guarantee when it comes to employment, I feel diesel fitting is a trade that will always provide work in most parts of the world.”

Hastings Deering’s class of 2021 is quite diverse. At 46, Warren Kaerger from Rockhampton is the oldest – proving you’re never too old to learn new skills.

Hastings Deering Chief Operating Officer Mark Scott said apprenticeships continued to be highly sought after with applications up 30 per cent on 2020, which was also a record year.

“The diesel fitter apprenticeship is clearly the applicant’s preferred trade across all our locations,” Scott said.

“Our focus was again to target a diverse range of people for our apprenticeship program which has been showing significant success.

“Mackay and Rockhampton apprentices again dominated the cohort. This is driven both by the calibre of the applicants as well as our pipeline of work in the regions, linked to the resources’ sector as well as supporting the construction industry.

“Hastings Deering continues to take a long-term view when it comes to investing in the training and development of its people and working with world-class Caterpillar machinery. Our apprentices learn about the repair, servicing and maintenance of a massive range of equipment, engines and power systems.”

Dupere became interested in mechanics at an early age having spent much of his youth helping his grandfather out on the family farm. His automotive interests motivated him to study a Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation at TAFE Queensland which Kade said helped him to gain an insight into what it’s like to work in the automotive trade.

“The Certificate also provided me with a lot of knowledge about how engines and heavy machinery work. It really prepared me for what it’s like to be an apprentice,” he said.

The TAFE at School program allowed Dupere to spend one day per week at the TAFE Queensland Acacia Ridge campus while still completing Year 12.

TAFE Queensland teacher Jason Carr said that the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation is designed to prepare students for careers in the light and heavy automotive industries.

“Many of our students go on to be offered apprenticeships and entry level positions in the automotive industry. The Certificate provides students with the basic knowledge and skills they need to become job ready,” Carr said.

“The feedback we receive from employers is that they prefer candidates who can prove they are serious about their trade careers.”

Dupere said he’s very happy to have secured an apprenticeship with Hastings Deering and hopes to remain within the company after his apprenticeship.

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