July 17th, 2017

Today’s metal fabrication shops are vastly different from those operating in the previous, booming post-World War II economy. Marked by a fluctuating market, the need for sophisticated equipment and exceedingly faster turnaround times in both production and output, shops are required to move with technology advances in order to stay ahead.  Metal fabrication is the art of building machines and structures from raw materials, by cutting, bending, burning, welding, machining, forming, and assembling to create the final product.

Careers in this age-old tradition will be celebrated in the lead up to and during National Skills Week, Australia’s peak week for celebrating vocational education and training (VET).  During the week, a variety of vocational careers from traditional trades to emerging skills are celebrated.

“Metal Fabricators and Metal Machinist (First class), both continue to be identified on the National Skills Needs List, acknowledging the need for more workers in these areas.  Upcoming National Skills Week, provides a perfect opportunity to acknowledge and promote careers within trade based industries,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

Jack Donaldson, national VET Alumni member and 2016 Australian Training Awards’ Australian Apprentice of the Year finalist, decided to undertake a metal fabrication apprenticeship through ASC (formerly known as Australian Submarine Corporation).  Surrounded by memories of his grandfather’s 40- year career as a boilermaker, Jack completed several certificates during his apprenticeship and undertook both work-related and volunteer studies.

Undertaking an apprenticeship helped set up Jack for a successful long term career. Jack’s communication and leadership skills strengthen through his training and strong employer support, culminating in winning the ASC Apprentice of the Year Award in 2016.

An apprenticeship can set you up for long term career success, by teaching you skills, providing industry connections and giving you hands-on experience,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

Jack’s career aspirations are to move into management and he has just started a combined degree at the University of South Australia studying both a Bachelor of Business (Management) and a Bachelor of Business (Economics, Finance and Trade).

Jack looks back on his apprenticeship fondly, “I really enjoyed my time in the metal fabrication industry. As a 21 year old, working on a project as complex as a submarine was a great honour,” says Jack.

For further information on Jack’s story or other engaging career stories from the Australian Training Awards, VET Alumni program or the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors program, visit the Australian Training Awards website.


SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. During this week, Australia will highlight the variety of career opportunities available through a VET qualification. To organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found across the country, visit the National Skills Week website.


For more information please contact: Kirstin Casey (General Manager at SkillsOne)

Mobile: 0420 652 558 Email: kirstin.casey@skillsone.com.au

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