16 June 2020
Sometimes the first experience of an apprenticeship isn’t what you hope for, but in the case of Joshua Taylor, it was a negative that soon turned into a positive.
Joshua began his fitting and machining apprenticeship with My Gateway and host business, LaserBond, back in 2013, after quite an unhappy experience in his initial engine reconditioning apprenticeship with another company. A change in trade was a positive move for Joshua in many ways, including his exposure to new processes and machinery.
“When I started the fitting and machining apprenticeship with My Gateway, I started in a host business [LaserBond] that was very dissimilar to my previous company, in terms of the machining processes and the culture was completely different,” he said.
“So I had [to make] a slight adjustment. It was a positive adjustment though. My personality and my headspace had to change. That was hard, but it was beneficial. I learnt how to carry myself less as an apprentice and more as a tradesman.”
It was during his time at LaserBond that Joshua really immersed himself into his trade.
“I was operating machinery that I had never seen before or heard of and they [LaserBond staff] were willing to show me [how to use it] so I had to very quickly adapt to new processes and working like a tradesman,” Joshua said.
“I learn to really hone the basics of being a tradesman. Being able to read drawings and use machines properly. LaserBond really prepared me in those aspects.”
Former My Gateway apprentice, Joshua Taylor (left) with his manager, Adrian Brecely. Joshua now works as a hydraulics technician. Photo supplied.
While it has been several years since he completed his apprenticeship, many of the skills and lessons Joshua learnt still play a pivotal role in his job today. He now works as a hydraulics technician, working on and modifying earthmoving equipment. Joshua is also studying a Certificate IV in Engineering (Fluid Power)
“I do pipe bending, general machining and some welding; I make various plates, hoses and do pressure ratings. I read schematics,” Joshua explained.
“I have to work very independently and because I am a [qualified] fitter, it is a massive help in doing my current job. A lot of the skills I gained were transferable.”
It’s not just those key engineering skills that Joshua has used from his apprenticeship. He believes many of the general life skills he picked up during his four-year apprenticeship are just as important as the specific trade fundamentals.
“I learnt to carry myself as a tradesman better. Hold my head high and be proud of what I worked on,” he said.
In the final year of his apprenticeship, Joshua faced some personal challenges, falling ill not long before he was due to complete. Through lots of support around him and his own determination, Joshua was able to finish his Certificate III in Engineering (Mechanical) and continue his career. It is an experience that has given him a great deal of wisdom, which he hopes can inspire apprentices going through their own struggles.
“Reach out and ask for help. It is better to speak up and say something that you are not happy with than it is to dwell in the darkness,” Joshua said.
“It is also important to treat your apprenticeship with the respect it deserves. You have to be willing to follow through with it. But, if you are not happy in a particular field, there’s no shame in saying this isn’t for me either. There is no shame in saying you can’t do this or asking someone to help you get through it.”