Butcher carves up boilermaking apprenticeship

04 October 2016

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Darling Downs resident Bradley Reid proved how fast things fall into place when you pursue your passion with his decision to leave butchery behind him to tackle a trade career.

After managing Coles’ meat section in Dalby for years, Bradley followed his calling to find a position that would allow him to work outdoors. He secured a role as chief labourer for a restumping company before applying for one of three sought after apprenticeships with multinational construction company Laing O’Rourke.

“I was over the moon when I heard from MIGAS I had got through. Before I knew it I was off west of Cairns as a FIFO worker where I got experience with pipe and stainless welding you’d never get elsewhere,” Bradley said.

“I loved that I could be of use so early in the process. I passed my structural test straight away and was spending all my time welding and fabricating on site in the next six months. I was getting to do tasks most apprentices wouldn’t expect to do until their fourth year.”

Bradley was also teamed up with welding veteran Colin King for 18 months of intense mentoring, where he gained an insight into advanced welding methods through an innovative teaching style.

“Working with Colin was phenomenal. He taught me the most when he stepped back from the boilermaking role and worked as my assistant, and guided me until I got it right. He taught me pretty much everything I know today,” Bradley said.

A high point of Bradley’s experience was being selected to work on the water treatment plan for Woleebee Creek where he put his skills to work.

“I was one of the last three people left on site when the project wrapped, and it left me feeling more confident that I had something valuable to offer,” Bradley said.

Bradley, who is now in the third year of his apprenticeship with specialist welding company B&B Fabrication, said he loves the endless possibility that comes with being a tradie.

“It gives me a lot of comfort knowing I will be able to go anywhere and find work. People will always need boilermakers after all,” Bradley said.

“I also love I can apply what I’ve learned to help not only myself but the people closest to me. I have a little workshop set up at home where I make figurines and work on house projects for my closest mates and family.”

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