Melbourne tradie freezes out competition

22 November 2016

Global company, Johnson Control knew they were onto a winner when MIGAS put forward tenacious teenager Daniel Van Dyke for a refrigeration and air conditioning apprenticeship in 2014. Fast forward two years and the aspiring tradie had become so indispensable to their team they decided to take over his employment from MIGAS before he completed his apprenticeship. 

Hearing the news just before his twenty first birthday was a moment Daniel won’t forget.

“I was so chuffed and felt such a sense of accomplishment to know they had such faith in me. It has been the greatest ride of my life and such an awesome environment to learn in – I’ve learned from the best tradesmen you could come across who have so much pride in their work and aren’t satisfied with anything but the best,” said Daniel.

When he joined the Johnson Control Melbourne team Daniel was charged with learning to design, install and maintain industrial and commercial refrigeration equipment.

“So many people assume you work on fridges, but the reality is I’m working on equipment as big as a house which can cool down a big 60 storey building!” said Daniel.

Daniel said he particularly enjoyed rolling his sleeves up and taking on additional responsibility in the last year of the apprenticeship.

“By the fourth year I was managing a critical site by myself, where I learnt the importance of time management, organisation and how to quote and keep clients happy,” said Daniel.

It was a conversation with his grandfather during Daniel’s late teens that crystallised which was the right trade for him.

“I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to be an electrician or a plumber, and my grandfather said a refrigeration mechanic could be up my alley as it incorporated both trades and others too. He was right – every day I do electrical work, fitting and turning, welding, and working with gas, pressure and temperature,” said Daniel.

The ambitious tradie said one of the benefits of working for a multinational company was the exciting career prospects.

“Working with a company like Johnson Control opens up so many possibilities. I’m really interested in working in Dubai next to get some great experience under my belt. I work with someone who followed that path earlier on, and I’d love to be on his level one day and have people calling me for help,” said Daniel.

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