When Keagan Bezuidenhout was growing up in South Africa he was always into race cars. His dad owned an automotive business and Keagan couldn’t get enough of tinkering with engines.
So it’s no wonder Keagan decided to be a mechanic. Vocational education and training (VET) was a good fit for Keagan who loves to be hand’s on and active.
‘Sitting in a classroom for hours wasn’t for me,’ says Keagan. ‘I was good at Maths and loved the more practical style of learning, so I completed my Certificate I in Automotive at St Edmunds College in Queensland.’
Keagan’s career has taken off since. He entered the 2015 WorldSkills Australia VETiS Automotive Services Regional Competition, when still at St Edmunds, and won. He next won the VETiS Automotive Services State Competition for Queensland and then, in 2016, won at the National Championships.
The VETiS Automotive Services Regional Competitions test the skills and knowledge of around 4000 apprentices, trainees and students. ‘I was proud to win because the competition is pretty tough,’ says Keagan.
The competitions operate on a two-year cycle and Keagan is in the running again. In 2017 he won the competition at both regional and state levels. He’s now keeping his fingers crossed he’ll pick up the top award once more at the nationals in 2018.
‘Being part of the WorldSkills Australia competitions has given me quite a good name in the industry, set me up well in my career and motivated me to learn more and more and to help others to learn,’ says Keagan.
After completing his VET qualification, Keagan began working at Lexus of Brisbane. He’s since moved to Kmart Tyre and Auto Services where every day presents new and rewarding challenges. ‘I don’t mind getting my hands dirty and I love learning new things and solving people’s car problems,’ says Keagan.
Keagan is also an Australian VET Alumni member, determined to share with those in the younger generation that VET is a valuable educational pathway. ‘Australia needs trades,’ he says. ‘Whether that’s carpenters, automotive mechanics or other trades. It’s a great option to study at VET and it opens lots of opportunities.
To find out more about how you can gain real skills for a real career through a VET qualification, visit www.myskills.gov.au
Book a VET Alumni member
To invite Keagan to share his success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.