At first glance, Bailey Urquhart, softly spoken and reserved, might not appear to be your typical trade apprentice. But after spending his senior year developing and refining his skills and interests through the MIGAS HeadStart program, he graduated as a stand-out student with the confidence to forge a successful career.
Bailey was first introduced to MIGAS during a chance meeting with Petelo at his school careers expo when he was just 16.
“I first met Bailey when he in Year 11 at his school’s career expo at St Augustine’s College,” Migas youth mentor and HeadStart program coordinator, Petelo says.
“Like a lot of students Bailey appeared a little nervous and ultimately did not know what he wanted to do after school. I could see he was lost.
“We spoke about his skills and strengths and I gave him a lot to think about, to help him identify what career pathways might suit him.”
Bailey spent time reflecting on Petelo’s advice and months later was ready to commit to the HeadStart program. He could see it was a course that could provide him with more than an introduction to an apprenticeship.
“I really wanted to develop my skills and find a career,” Bailey says, “I just didn’t know how to start or who to talk to.”
“The initial feedback from Petelo in Year 11 was really helpful. Most importantly, I wanted to be able to keep an open mind about my career options with a program that would not interfere with school work.”
Once learning that HeadStart was run during the school holidays and there would be opportunities to develop his confidence and communication skills Bailey was hooked.
Bailey applied, along with other students from across Brisbane for the program and was successful.
Bailey explains he got a lot out of HeadStart.
“Not only did I learn about all the different trades and aspects of trades it helped me decide what I wanted to do.”
During the course, Bailey found himself drawn to welding, a common technique used by boilermakers. He learnt a little during school and developed his MIG welding skills further at TAFE.
“HeadStart helped me approach different types of people and communicate clearly and confidently. I also learnt, what it takes to be in a workplace, the importance of communicating with your boss and other people and how far that can take you with the right skills and attitude.”
Bailey graduated from the HeadStart program in 2017 with glowing results and received the 2017 Outstanding Vocational Student Award from TAFE Queensland. An achievement he received in front of his peers at the St Augustine’s Awards evening.
The biggest learning for Bailey was to be open and honest at work.
“It’s a two-way street. In the workplace, you are still learning but it’s different. I learnt quickly it was important to be upfront about anything you are struggling with.
“For me, I learnt to ask rather than wait for someone else to ask.”
Bailey secured work experience on completion of his senior school year, with Affordable Stainless Products (ASP). He gained valuable hands-on work experience in a real life working environment, further cementing his interests in Boiler Making. So, impressed was ASP, Bailey was offered an apprenticeship with them before Christmas which he accepted.
Now in the early days of his Boiler Making Apprenticeship, Bailey attributes his growth through HeadStart to his confidence in knuckling down and asking the right questions – especially when faced with a problem.
Bailey’s future is now bright, as he develops skills that will set him up for life.