He’s only in his 20s, but Mitchell Earl already has a national and state award under his carpenter’s belt.
Mitchell won National Apprentice of the Year, Master Builders Australia (MBA), National Excellence Awards in 2017, after winning the New South Wales Apprentice of the Year Award (Newcastle Branch). Today he is a leading hand on a major construction project worth $8 million.
Mitchell’s story began with the vocational education and training (VET) course he undertook while in high school. He always knew he wanted a career in building and carpentry and through VET confirmed that the construction industry was going to be his future.
‘I love hands on work,’ says Mitchell. ‘I love that the industry is so diverse. It’s so much more than just handling a piece of timber.’
After completing Year 12 and his Australian Apprenticeship at North Construction and Building on the Central Coast, Mitchell found himself working for the company full-time in commercial construction. He started as a carpenter, but quickly progressed to be a leading hand, working direct to the Job Foreman.
‘It was a smooth transition and my VET course at school really helped me get a job,’ says Mitchell. ‘It helped me gain workplace skills and experience while studying industry related courses.’
Mitchell says VET was valuable in teaching him the ‘real way’ the construction industry works. ‘What I learned about the management side of things has been very beneficial, including important requirements like quantity checking, sub-contractor management, programming of works and site supervision,’ he says. ‘By the time I left my VET course in school I was six months ahead with my learning.’
Winning his awards and becoming an Australian VET Alumni member has inspired Mitchell to build broader understanding of VET.
‘VET is just as deserving as a university course,’ says Mitchell. ‘It’s very valuable and opens the doors to so many opportunities. It leads to a career, not just a job, and was the right choice at the right time for me. It equipped me for my future.’
Mitchell’s goal is to talk to as many people as he can about VET’s ability to provide greater employability, greater job security, greater earning potential and greater choices for work options.
‘It was such an honour to win the MBA national award at the ceremony in Hobart,’ says Mitchell. ‘And it’s an honour to be an Australian VET Alumni member.’
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 Mitchell to share his success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.