Becca’s story is one of resilience, determination and finding passion in unexpected places. Despite setbacks in her pursuit of becoming a helicopter pilot, she did not let that hold her back. Instead, she travelled to Melbourne and found herself working at a FinTech company, where she was able to volunteer and help rebuild a school in Nepal that had been destroyed by an earthquake.
This experience ignited Becca’s passion for building, and she knew that she was not suited to working in an office day in and day out. She then decided to explore trade options in Australia and found the Trades Institute Victoria, which offered an 18-month full-time Cert III in Carpentry.
Becca’s pathway is different from a traditional apprenticeship, as she studies three days a week for 12 months at school, covering all her units, rather than on the job. Becca was fortunate enough to find a part-time job working for Timberset, an eco-driven prefab residential builder, on the two days a week she is not in school. The hours she works now also count towards her 800 hours, which means she can become a qualified carpenter in less than 18 months.
Becca admits that the work is fast-paced, and she struggles with feeling like she is not quick enough or knowledgeable enough. However, she sees this as part of the learning process and tries not to dwell on things she wishes she had done better the first time. Instead, she focuses on improving for the next time. As an apprentice*, Becca is usually the one to unload all the material and get the site set up, ready to work with power, drop saw bench, sawhorses, etc. She says she is lucky to be part of a team where she gets to do skilled work too, so that can be anything from building subfloors, walls, and roofs to cladding and fix work.
Becca’s story is an inspiration to anyone who has had their dreams crushed or is unsure of what career path to take. Master Builders is shining a spotlight on some of the apprentices in the industry as part of National Apprenticeship Week (13-19 Feb 2023). Becca’s journey is one of perseverance, positive attitude, and desire to learn from her experiences. She is a role model for anyone looking to switch careers or find their true passion in life. She has showcased that it is never too late to try something new and that there are many well-paid and satisfying career options within the construction industry. Becca sees her carpentry apprenticeship as just the first step of many she wants to take in the construction industry. As she says, “Don’t be afraid to get started!”
Considering an apprenticeship? Contact your local state/territory Master Builders association.