Meet Sean Watson
Sean Watson is studying an electrical apprenticeship at Bendigo TAFE. Sean has been nominated for Apprentice of the Year in the 2012 Powercor Australia Bendigo Business Excellence Award. Sean was successful in winning this award last year.
At 40 years of age, I’ve had a few different jobs over the years. I’ve gone from a qualified fitter and machinist, to a teacher’s aide to a truck driver. Then one day I decided to be an electrician.
My truck driving days had come to an end and I needed to figure out what to do next. Supporting a wife and eight children, it was obvious I needed a job, but I didn’t want just any job. I wanted to do something that I would really enjoy.
So, my wife got me thinking about what I’d always wanted to be when I grew up. When I announced that I wanted to be a fighter pilot, I don’t think that was quite the answer that she was looking for! However, I’d also wanted to be an electrician, which was certainly a more achievable goal. So, the next day I hit the streets canvassing for an apprenticeship. Within two days, I had one.
I worked for that company for about 18 months, working on domestic projects for new houses. I have now continued on with my apprenticeship with a new company, Bentrol, working on the commercial side of the trade.
My apprenticeship is really setting me up for a career, and I know that at the end of it all I will finish with a licenced trade. From here, the possibilities are endless.
Sure, it’s been hard to start an apprenticeship at the age of 40, especially to go back to an apprentice wage, but that’s only short term. Once I’m qualified it’ll be a different story.
I love the school component of my apprenticeship at Bendigo TAFE, and really enjoy the interaction with all the great teachers. There is so much to learn and I say you’re never too old to learn!
As far as my advice to other students goes, you’d be silly not to study a trade or other qualification. There are no boundaries on knowledge, and at the end of the day, knowledge is power.
I’m really happy with what I am doing at the moment and I’m really looking forward to what the future brings my way.
I didn’t give up on my dream of being a fighter pilot either. I’m now taking flying lessons.