CASE STUDY: HORTICULTURALIST – A Training Success Story
Late start has benefits
To describe Stephen Colloff as a jack-of-all-trades is an understatement.
The 40-year-old has worked in hospitality, as a brick-laying and labouring subcontractor and even owns an art production business.
However it is horticulture where Stephen’s passion lies, a passion that was developed during an Australian Apprenticeship with Maxima and Burnside Council in Adelaide.
He says that being a mature-aged Australian Apprentice gave him an advantage over his younger colleagues and classmates.
“Being older and having prior work experience helped me gain the trust of my employer which led to me having more responsibility,” Stephen said.
“Being a mature-aged apprentice gave me a head-start on my new career.”
Stephen has excelled and now works in the bio-diversity unit and nursery where he hopes to stay for the remainder of his Australian Apprenticeship.
He then hopes to expand on his knowledge by studying for a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management.
“The best thing about my apprenticeship was the combination of work and trade school,” he said.
“I would work Monday to Thursday, and then if I was not sure about something at work, I would take it to trade school on Friday and get immediate feedback from my teacher.”
Stephen’s passion for his Australian Apprenticeship was recognised when he was selected for Apprentice Employment Network’s Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders Program in 2013.
“I believe I was selected because I showed initiative and wanted to push myself to go further and learn more,” he said.