Aaron Mason, 16, Red Cliffs, Vic
Aaron is interested in a career in the electrical field and has already completed a Certificate Two course in Integrated Technology during Year 10. During Year 11, an SWL placement with major Sunraysia electrical contracting firm Cummins and Noonan was an ideal way to road-test the industry in the real world.
A student’s perspective: Aaron Mason
“I spoke to my careers teacher about looking for an SWL placement in the electrical field, and she helped me with using the Portal to find the placement. I then went to an interview with Jason and Will at Cummins and Noonan. It was a great placement. I learnt the basics, like using OH & S in the workplace and how a workplace operates, the importance of completing daily tasks and how to work and communicate with others at the workplace. I was placed with one tradesman, and he was my supervisor. I was expecting to be just observing the tradesman and I was surprised at how much hands-on work I was allowed to do. It was a great placement and Jason and Will have offered me the opportunity of more work experience if I need it. I plan to complete Year 12 then look at apprenticeship opportunities in Electrical.”
A teacher’s perspective: Amanda Boulton
“It was great to be able to assist Aaron through the SWL portal. As I do with other students, I was able to let him know about opportunities that might suit him. The SWL placements are terrific. They gave student real-life working experience and prepare them for what’s next after they complete school. They’re able to build networks and the student is exposed to industry and finding out about what employer’s expectations are. We make sure all students are well-prepared for SWL placements by supporting them to develop their “ready for work” skills. We also keep in touch with the employer during placement to make sure everything is going OK. It’s also been helpful to work with the SWL coordinator to get help in areas we’re finding it hard to place students in.”
An employer’s perspective: Jason Noonan and Will Cummins
“Aaron was a good student placement and he showed a lot of interest — the extra pair of hands was great and it’s good to know we are helping students get exposure to the industry they’re interested in. We pick the right tradesman to work with students to ensure the student gets the best chance to learn. But from our business point of view, it was a positive experience, too. It makes the tradesman think about how to share some of their knowledge and give the student a good insight into the industry. We decided to give SWL a go after a meeting with the SWL coordinator. Our company believes in giving young people opportunities in the electrical industry, but we liked the idea of only having to deal with the SWL coordinator, instead of numerous students contacting us looking for placements. We regularly put electrical apprentices through and this is a good way to expose students to the industry. And it’s a great way for us to look at the next potential apprentice!”