From unemployment to an apprenticeship

From left to right: Jake Willis, Chris Hope, Anita Godfrey

From left to right: Jake Willis, Chris Hope, Anita Godfrey

When original career paths don’t go to plan, new opportunities can be unexpected and take you in a completely different direction.  But that doesn’t mean that those new opportunities are not interesting and well worth the discovery.

 This is exactly what Chris Hope in Ballarat found out after completing year 12.  Throughout his schooling Chris had his sights on becoming a graphic or games designer. After matriculating he qualified for a tertiary course, he commenced working in a pub and doing welding for and small engineering business to pay his way through university. At this point Chris’s plan to achieve his dream career had seemed to be perfectly falling into place.

After university Chris decided to move to Melbourne to capture opportunities in his dream job. Eight months later of pounding on the doors of opportunity Chris returned back home realizing that there were very limited job availabilities in the field.

Picking up work as show performer at Kryal Castle, Chris enjoyed his work but after two years there was insufficient hours to support himself anymore. Trying to find his new direction in life he turned to the skilling and employment services organization, MatchWorks. At this time not knowing what to expect Chris’s career was going to totally change.

Through MatchWorks, Chris was placed onto a Jobs Victoria program that saw him working on a mine site, but again found himself out of work.

MatchWorks then talked to Chris about a ‘boot camp’ skills program about to be run through SEM Fire and Rescue (part of the Varley Group). He heard about the possibility of the program leading to an apprenticeship. Discovering that Chris has had a lifelong interest in electronics his new career direction on ‘winning’ an apprenticeship in Auto Electrical was proving opportunistic.

After a month on the job and officially an apprentice, Chris is really happy with the variety of work and the 4-day working week. He is keen to gain a real understanding about why things are done the way they are done in job role and confident he will gain this through his time at Kangan TAFE.

MatchWorks Employment Consultant, Anita Godfrey is delighted that Chris has successfully landed the first apprenticeship with SEM Fire and Rescue. “Chris has been someone who always presented well. The team was impressed with his desire to work and his work ethic,” Anita said.

SEM Production Manager, Jake Willis sees the ‘boot camp’ program as a success. Jake said, “While we would ideally have liked to be able to employ others from the program, at this stage Chris is the only one to be offered an apprenticeship. The on the job component of the program allowed us to see how each participant fitted in when considering their punctuality, communication and cooperation with our employees.”

Although at times career paths can be frustrating to make the fit, through being open to options, willing to give things a go and persistence, that amazing career opportunity can be just around the corner.