Apprenticeship ambassador drums home the value of vocational training

A love of music led Jared Stone to a career in electrotechnology. The Australian Apprentice of the Year in 2015, he is now sharing his story of how vocational education and training can lead to a rewarding career path.

A talented drummer, Jared left school during Year 11 to take up a VET qualification in music, at the suggestion of a careers advisor. While studying he realised he enjoyed the technical aspects of sound recording, playback and the electrical theory associated with the subjects. To explore these interests further, Jared undertook a pre-apprenticeship course in electrotechnology with the goal of starting a journey to become an electrician.

Perth-based Jared was one of 12 candidates selected from 750 applicants by Western Power to join its apprentice program. After completing his theory studies for his Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician during his second year, he also completed a Certificate IV in Engineering (Instrumentation) during the third year of his apprenticeship.

Jared is now a fully qualified electrician working as a ‘Primary Plant Technician’ with Western Power in the asset management side of the business. To further advance his career, Jared completed his Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering (Electrical Systems) in 2017. He is also a member of Australia’s first Vocational Education and Training (VET) Alumni Program which comprises the best of Australia’s VET students, training providers, teachers, and employers.

In November last year Jared joined over 140 members in Canberra for the inaugural National VET Alumni Information Workshop where they shared their stories and gained media and presentation skills to enhance their roles as ambassadors and advocates for VET and Australian Apprenticeships. They also workshopped ideas to build an even stronger VET Alumni program.

A keen advocate for skilled-based careers, Jared believes the flexible training offered by vocational education and training can encourage young people to turn their passions into careers. For him it was the technical aspects of recording live music that got him into electrotechnology. Jared feels that an apprenticeship is “just as good as a tertiary degree or even better.”

“It’s a seamless integration of off- and on-the-job training, meaning the skills you gain are all relevant and immediately useable in the workplace. What my VET qualification means to me is just a huge plethora of career opportunities and prospects.”

Jared says that the support mechanisms during his apprenticeship were excellent. “I had amazing mentors — I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of other people.”

As an Australian apprenticeships ambassador, Jared says he is “getting out there promoting all the benefits of the VET sector, not just to a specific group but to all walks of life and all ages. Whatever you’re into, there’s something out there in the VET sector for you.”

Whilst having embraced his career in the electrical field, Jared still has a passion for music, recording an album and touring Australia last year with his band Sail On! Sail On!

Watch Jared in action below: