There are a wide range of career pathways through apprenticeships.
There are a wide range of career pathways through apprenticeships. Cade Mooney/cm194060

Apprenticeships are for people of all ages and interests

LET'S dispel a couple of widely accepted stereotypes - apprenticeships are for teenagers and school-leavers, and lead to careers in traditional trades like carpentry, baking and mechanics.

Absolutely not true. Not even close.

Take, for example, Cameron Ling. While most people would better know him from his time as the captain of the Geelong Football Club, since his retirement from the AFL, Cameron has been working towards completing an Australian Apprenticeship in carpentry.

He said he had always been interested in carpentry, and a post-football apprenticeship was allowing him to turn that interest into a career.

"I chose a carpentry apprenticeship because it was something that always interested me," Cameron said.

"There are apprenticeships available in all sorts of occupations - for me, it was carpentry, but when I was looking at what I wanted to do, I was amazed that there really was something for everyone.

"I have loved every minute of my apprenticeship.

"The reward that comes with finishing a final fit-out, when you have been involved from the start, gives you enormous enjoyment."

While Cameron's example does little to highlight apprenticeship pathways outside the traditional trades, Eliza Camac's story most certainly does.

Taking a gap year from study in laboratory medicine, Eliza became fascinated with the fine art of horology - the art and science of measuring time.

On starting full-time employment in the watchmaking industry, with some encouragement from her employer, Eliza said she decided to undertake an Australian Apprenticeship in watch and clock making.

"I have found a niche trade that I love. I enjoy the intricate detail of working on complex mechanisms and exploring the wide variety of timepieces," she said.

"The training I received at TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute, gave me the skills I needed to be successful in this trade. In fact, so successful that I am now a partner in the business where I undertook my training."

For more information about apprenticeships and training pathways, visit

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