Through commencing a Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation, 2021 Year 12 Graduate Tom Lyas discovered that working in the automotive industry was where he wanted to be. He obtained this Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification during Years 11 and 12 and this contributed to his successful completion of the SACE.

Early this year, Tom successfully applied for full time employment with Woodville Park Automotive, as a 2nd Year Apprentice Mechanic. Tom has enjoyed the responsibility of servicing cars independently and takes pride in working on high performance vehicles. He acknowledged the value of his VET training in gaining employment – “VET got me ready for general servicing and built up my confidence and knowledge of the different parts and tools I need to use in the workshop. Doing VET while I was still at school helped to set me up to enter the workforce.”

Tom’s employer at Woodville Park Automotive, Bruno Romero explained that Tom is the first apprentice he has hired in several years as the right candidate had not come along. Mr Romero reinforced that “Tom’s VET training and qualification has given him the basics, an understanding of the safety requirements and general servicing.” There are four staff including Mr Romero and one employee has worked there for 30 years and was Mr Romero’s original apprentice.

Tom has felt welcomed by the staff at Woodville Park Automotive and is grateful to Mr Romero for giving him the opportunity to do what he loves. Tom will continue his VET training through the Motor Trade Association to stay up-to-date with the relevant skills required for the automotive industry and he had some advice for students thinking about enrolling in a VET course – “If there is a VET course and career pathway you are keen on exploring, definitely do it.”

Tom has a verified learning disability, Generalised Learning Disorder and his working memory is extremely poor, in the 5th percentile. Tom’s parents are extremely proud of him and all he has achieved during his time at Woodville High School and wanted to acknowledge the outstanding work of Woodville High School (WHS) staff.

“WHS teachers and SSO’s worked collaboratively with us to support him in his learning and emotional support needs. It was not easy for Tom at times, and it was touch and go in Year 12 whether he would complete it. We are absolutely thrilled at his vocational outcome but even more importantly with how happy he is. My husband and I wish to thank you and your staff for the incredible opportunities you have given our son for a positive future.” – Christine Lyas.

Alana Probert

VET/Careers Coordinator