CAREER CALLS: D&S; Supplies’s Joel Butler is more than happy to show new apprentice Beau Genninges his craft.
CAREER CALLS: D&S; Supplies’s Joel Butler is more than happy to show new apprentice Beau Genninges his craft.

Small workshop a great place to learn trade

WHEN 17-year-old Beau Genninges found out he had received an apprenticeship, he was ecstatic.

The Year 12 Gladstone Technical College student started work experience with D&S Supplies in January, enjoying the trade so much he continued to work every two weeks between completing his QCE subjects at tech college.

"In my first week I learnt heaps," Beau said. "They didn't treat me as a broomstick here. I've always got something to do."

Beau said he thought he would stay with the business, learning from experienced mentors such as business owner Darren Humphrey and tradesman Joel Butler.

It's an opportunity for which he is grateful, admitting he wasn't the best at academia.

"I'm not real good in class. I get bored and in trouble," he laughed.

"Darren and Joel are really good to work with. They teach me how to do clamping and welding.

"There's so much variety here."

Mr Humphrey saw a strong work ethic in Beau as a work experience student and decided to employ him as an apprentice two months ago at the Boyne Island workshop.

Apprenticeships aren't something D&S Supplies has offered frequently in the past.

"We haven't had many apprentices. As it (the business) grows we will give someone else a go," he said.

"(With three of us now), it gives me time to go and chase work and go to meetings and do quotes. It's just flexibility.

"Beau turns up on time. He asks a lot of questions which a lot of people don't do these days, so he's keen to learn."

Nearing the end of his secondary schooling, it was relief for Beau that he gained a welder/ boilermaker apprenticeship thanks to the successful EQIP program at the Gladstone Technical College and the support of local business owners such as Mr Humphrey.

"I am rapt. I can start saving towards a holiday and houses and stuff," he said.

Technical college industry liaison officer Karen Dixon said the pressure mounted for graduating students, but getting a foot in the door was a relief for them.

"Without the support of small workshops like this, where would Beau be," she asked.

"They (students) stress over it, there's not that many apprenticeships around. They are taking the time to give them a future."

Beau will kick-start his full-time working career as an apprentice next year once he finishes Year 12.

The apprenticeship runs for four years.