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Apprentice chippies hammer away in Melton

With the carpentry trade recognised as a national skills priority, carpentry courses at VU's Melton Campus are in full flight. Fifteen pre-apprentice carpenters from the Melton area studying a 16-week full-time program to gain their Certificate III in Carpentry. The students are building transportable one bedroom houses as part of their practical assessment, which are sold at cost to the public once completed.

Participants range from 15-year-old early school leavers to 28-year-old Sash Razmovski from Taylor's Lakes. He left a job as a well-paid logistics specialist to follow a dream to run his own building company.  "I should have done this years ago. The sky is the limit in this trade because the world will always need buildings and houses," he said.

Since mid-2009, the Federal Government's $14 billion stimulus spending program has been credited with a surge of building jobs across Australia. VU's 16-week pre-apprenticeship offers a fast-track to a carpentry job as it knocks six months off a normal four-year apprenticeship.

Carpentry teacher Ross Firth said most builders who take apprentices now expect them to have already done a pre-apprenticeship. "Our students start by learning how to use basic hand tools and work up from there," he said. "Employers don't want to have to explain those basics."

The VU program is three-quarters hands-on training, which involves building the home. Students do all the carpentry work, which includes a cathedral ceiling, timber floor, bathroom, kitchen and lounge room. 

There are no prerequisites for VU's carpentry pre-apprenticeship. It costs about $200 for students on Health Care Cards and about $900 for those without.  The next intake is July 19. To register an expression of interest, call +61 3 9919 7530.  

School of Construction Industries

Phone: +61 3 9919 8493
Email: [email protected]

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