‘Like father, like son’, so the saying goes. But not in the case of Luke Scott and his Dad. While Dads are often pretty keen for their sons to follow in their footsteps, Luke Scott’s Dad was so determined Luke would not work where he had worked for 26 years that he paid Luke to leave and begin an apprenticeship.
“When I left school after finishing year 12 I didn’t really have any goals or direction,” said Luke. “I kind of fell into working as an operator at a manufacturer where Dad had worked, but he told me it wasn’t what I wanted and I could do better! It was very wise advice, and I actually didn’t need too much persuasion as my brother had done an apprenticeship and was loving his work as an electrician,” said Luke.
From Geelong in Victoria, 24 year old Luke has had a wonderful diversity of work with his host employer, Broad Spectrum, including working at the CSR Refinery in Melbourne, the Bandiana Military Area in the Riverina Murray Valley, working as a fly-in/fly-out technician at the Moomba gas plant in the middle of the South Australian desert and then back to Melbourne working at the Mobil refinery.
“It’s been fantastic experience,” said Luke. “I’ve certainly done more than a whole lot of other people my age .I’m very happy with the places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve had.”
While studying at The Gordon Institute of TAFE Luke was singled out early as a talent to watch. During his first year he was offered the opportunity to do a Certificate IV, paid for by The Gordon, and then was identified by a WorldSkills judge as a promising Gold Medal candidate. With only a couple of weeks to practice, Luke won Gold in Mechtronics at the 2015 regional competition and then was set for the nationals—but this time with a twist.
“The 2016 National Competition was a team rather than individual competition, so I was paired with another apprentice electrician, Hannah Terry who I’d never met before. I wasn’t sure how it would go, because everyone has their own way of doing things, but as we practised together we really clicked and we were able to combine extremely well at the competition,” said Luke.
Luke and Hannah turned out to be the perfect pair, bringing their collective A Game to the event and calming and supporting each other at critical points. “I have never been under so much pressure in my life, but it was a phenomenal experience and the elation we felt in winning the Gold Medal will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Luke.
With a trade under his belt Luke is happy that he has skills he can use for the rest of his life. “Even if I change jobs in 10, 15 or 20 years’ time, I can always use the skills I’ve acquired through my apprenticeship. Career longevity is one of the great positives of doing a trade,” he said.
Luke thinks that the key skills for his trade are having a willingness to learn and be challenged, and staying calm in stressful circumstances. “In the fields I’ve worked in you can find yourself in some pretty confronting situations—for instance, in the oil or gas industries, if there’s an outage, it could be costing the client $50-$100,000 an hour, so the pressure is really on to identify the problem and solve it fast.”
His tips for anyone considering an apprenticeship are to go to Open Days and speak to the teachers and employers to gain a good understanding of what each type of job involves. “Work hard and be motivated,” he said. “Hard effort gets good results.”
Speaking of his own future, Luke is keen to focus his efforts on the sustainability aspects of the oil and gas industries, particularly with respect to renewable energy. “Either as part of my trade or possibly moving into management, I really want to contribute to making a positive change for the future—not just for myself, but for generations to come,” he said.
Book a VET Alumni member
To invite Luke to share his success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.