MIGAS are very pleased to welcome Dan Reilly of The Block to our team as our Ambassador, championing trade career pathways. A trade trained carpenter and certified builder, Dan is passionate about encouraging young job seekers to consider vocational pathways.
MIGAS sat down with Dan recently to discuss his career and why he loves the industry.
So Dan, why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
Well, I always knew I wanted to be a builder, so this was the first step. I was always more practical than academic; I finished grade 12 but it was more about hanging out with my mates. In a lot of ways, I wish I had started my apprenticeship earlier but the only thing that stopped me was that I didn’t have my car licence. I did do a pre-apprenticeship course though, and was lucky to get an apprenticeship afterwards with the same company.
What was the best thing about doing a trade?
I could never be stuck in an office all day. There was nothing more exciting than starting a new job, and watching it transform, especially when renovating or in a new estate. You look back at the end of the day and walk away feeling good about what you had done that day. There’s a lot of job satisfaction; I love driving through new suburbs and saying “see that house, I built that!”
What advice do you have for those about to start an apprenticeship?
Stay keen to work and keen to learn. Keep thinking of that ticket and what it means to have that. Yes, the wages are hard but only to start with and once you’ve got your ticket, if you’re good at what you do and work hard you can pretty much name your price. Even if you decide you want to do something later, get that ticket and you will always have that to fall back on.
What attracted you to working with MIGAS as an Ambassador?
I am really passionate about making sure apprentices are trained properly and about filling the skills gap, and I know MIGAS is too. Some people see apprentices as cheap labour and take them on without training them properly. That’s not good for this sector and so we need to step it up. These kids are our future so we need to make sure they’re trained across all parts of their trade. There is a heap of work out there, and now is the time to get involved, and show why this is a great career for young people to consider.
Apart from appearing on The Block as ‘Foreboy Dan’, what are you doing now?
I’m employed as a site manager working on big projects and contracts, which is great as it can be very flexible around The Block, plus I have some of my own things going on too so it’s really good I can work around my other commitments.