“GIVE work experience a go, get out and have a look around and see what clicks,” that is the advice of Year 12 student Tobie Phipps when it comes to choosing a career path.
Tobie is currently completing his VCE Vocational Education and Training (VET) Certificates I & II in Engineering Studies with the hope to continue these studies post-secondary schooling to become a Combat Engineer with the Australian Defence Force.
Combat Engineers, known as ‘Sappers’ are trained in a broad range of tasks including bridge-building, clearing explosive hazards, creating obstacles, demolitions, and operating small boats.
“Originally I was looking into industrial refrigeration, working on orchard cool rooms or something along those lines,” Tobie said.
“I also did some plumbing work experience, but it didn’t click.
“I connected with Geared4Careers here at the school who helped me work out a path that felt right for me and I think being able to complete my VET qualifications here and having the facilities to do it has been a big part of it.”
Geard4Careers program officers are embedded within Greater Shepparton Secondary College (GSSC) and complement our College Careers Team to support students to become job ready, remain engaged at school or transition into further education or employment and secure local part-time employment opportunities while still at school.
Tobie is currently a Corporal with the 38 Army Cadet Unit Shepparton and works part-time at Bunnings. From a young age he knew a hand-on career was the right pathway for him.
“Although it took me giving things a go to work out what I really wanted to do, I knew uni was never for me,” he said.
“I think it’s important to remember there’s not just one way of doing things.”
Following his graduation, Tobie hopes to continue his VET Engineering Studies by completing his Certificates III & IV, while also undertaking soldier training at Kapooka.
“It would be a pretty interesting role – you do a range of things including building bridges, dealing with explosives, setting up water purification equipment,” Tobie said.
“Through my VET studies I’ve learnt a lot of things that will support me in the combat engineer role including fabrication and welding skills, how to mark-up and measure, moulding certain metals, the use of machinery and hand tools – there has been a good variety.”
GSSC Executive Principal Barbara O’Brien echoed Tobie’s sentiment that finding the right career or pathway was a personal journey.
“There is no one way or right way of doing things,” Ms O’Brien said.
“Whether it’s science, sport, music, hospitality or a trade that you’re into, there are so many ways to explore your interests and passions at GSSC and our teaching and Education Support staff are here to help get you there.”
Ms O’Brien said this includes dedicated and trained careers practitioners in each neighbourhood, supported by external agencies and the wide range of incursions, excursions, immersions, industry panels and information sharing opportunities on offer at the college.
“It’s also important to remember that there are so many ways you can get involved at school beyond the classroom,” Ms O’Brien said.
“Whether it’s taking on a leadership opportunity, joining one of our recess, lunchtime or after school clubs or putting your hand up to take part in an extra-curricular activity on offer, the opportunities are endless and you never know what doors they will open.”