Hard work pays off with employment for dedicated TAFE student

South Regional TAFE Bunbury student and Mandurah local Liam Cook was determined that hard work and not luck, would secure him a career in the electrical trades.

Since leaving high school, the 19-year-old dedicated two years to preparing himself for the right apprenticeship opportunity.

That commitment has now paid off with Mr Cook now selected from hundreds of candidates to be one of 12 young Western Australians accepted into the Western Power apprenticeship program for 2018.

“Getting an apprenticeship is great and really worth all the hard work,” he said.

“The time it takes can be very frustrating but anything worth having is worth working for.

“The next few years are going to be pretty intense. There will be a few lifestyle changes for me, especially travelling to Kewdale most days, but I can’t see that slowing me down,” he said.

Mr Cook’s career drive gained additional momentum and direction last year, when he received a Western Power scholarship to study Certificate II in Electrotechnology at TAFE’s Bunbury campus.

New Western Power apprentice Liam Cook and Bunbury MLA Don Punch celebrate the success of South Regional TAFE's programs. Photo: Supplied.

New Western Power apprentice Liam Cook and Bunbury MLA Don Punch celebrate the success of South Regional TAFE's programs. Photo: Supplied.

“The scholarship was the break I needed,” he said.

“It’s tough to balance finances when you study because you have to trade off the chance to make money for the opportunity to further your education.

“The more I worked through the pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship processes, the quicker I went from ‘this is something I’d like to do’ to ‘this is what I want to do’.”

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said Mr Cook’s experience shows that Western Power pre-apprenticeship scholarships at South Regional TAFE provide recipients with genuine opportunities for their future career.

“Well done to Liam for grabbing the opportunity training offered him and for working hard to secure his future, and congratulations to Western Power for continuing to invest in the workers of the future.

“WA Labor committed to keeping Western Power in public hands, and this was one of the reasons why, its commitment to providing apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people.”

Liam is one of eight men and four women from across the state selected for the apprenticeship intake, ranging in age from 18 to 29.

Each have taken different paths to get to Western Power, but share the same goal of creating a career and being part the changing energy landscape.

The 2018 intake includes three line workers, four electrical, three cable jointers and two mechanical apprentices.

Training for each four-year apprenticeship is delivered by Western Power’s registered training organisation Power Training Services WA (PTSWA) and TAFE, combined with on-the-job experience at their respective depots.