Eden Marine High School student Tom Burn is ready to fly out to the NSW Training Awards as a school-based apprentice of the year finalist.
He will be attending an evening function at the the Sydney Town Hall with three other school-based apprentices and trainees on Wednesday, September 12.
Tom is currently recognised as the school-based apprentice of the year for the Illawarra and South East NSW region, and is one step away from becoming a finalist for the Australian award.
“I have sat through a lot of interviews and I am guessing there will be another one if I am announced as the winner of the state,” Tom said.
“They judge on how I presented myself and my views I expressed in the interview as well as my application.”
Tom’s passion for the engineering industry is growing.
He is looking forward to transitioning from his certificate in engineering and metal fabrication to aircraft maintenance and engineering at the Merimbula Airport.
“My school-based apprenticeship has opened up so many avenues, I would have never considered this otherwise,” he said.
Careers advisor and SBAT coordinator Michelle Bond is accompanying Tom at the state awards night.
“I am so proud of all my school-based apprentices and trainees. To be able to do a nationally recognised certificate at school, their HSC and work outside of school is amazing,” she said.
Ms Bond has signed up another two students this week to carry out school-based apprenticeships.
“It has to be the right personality to be able to juggle everything, it is a big work commitment and not everyone is right to do it,” she said.
Eden Marine High is the leading school in the state with 38 students enrolled in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
Tom is looking forward to working with Training Services NSW as an advocate for the programs.
“I think if I become the national representative for school-based apprenticeships I will have to travel around and set up presentations and talks in schools.”
Through his years working at Merimbula Engineering and studying a Certificate III in engineering and fabrication, Tom is eager to share what he has accomplished with others.
“I learnt the hard way, a lot of information I have learnt now I wished that I had known at the beginning,” Tom said.
Having a healthy life balance and managing time was the biggest challenge for Tom, who said his social life went completely out the window.
“Managing time between school, my social life and the training and work was difficult, I know I didn’t have much of a social life.”
He has also had two knee reconstructions, which has been a setback to completing his studies.
“It has been hard catching up on hours I have missed on my training, but I have learnt not to stress about completing it because there are other avenues.”