HVTC 40th Anniversary - Brett Barklay

Former HVTC Fabrication apprentice, Brett Barklay, completed his training in 1993 while hosted to Kembla Coal and Coke.

The Wollongong local initially decided that the apprenticeship pathway was best for him after leaving school and talking to his dad about potential career options.

“School wasn’t for me, so I decided I needed a trade. I didn’t really know what a boilermaker was back then, but I asked my dad plenty of questions and went for it. I always enjoyed building things when I was younger, so I gave it a go. It was the best decision I made.

“Some highlights of my apprenticeship were meeting new people, learning new skills, placing at the Regional WorkSkills competition in welding, and being able to stand back and look at what I just fabricated or repaired with pride.

“I worked as a boilermaker and welder for around 10 years after finishing my apprenticeship, mainly in construction and on-site maintenance roles. I started with BlueScope Steel 22 years ago in a maintenance role, leading to a Process Team Leader role working in the gas system at Coke Plant 1.”

Brett is still currently working with BlueScope as a Heating Process Controller.

“I have completed many certificates since my apprenticeship, including welding certificates, a Diploma in Business Management, a Diploma in Metallurgy, and Non-destructive Testing training.

“Having a formal trade qualification is valued and in high demand. Being able to have job satisfaction within your chosen role leads to a happy life and work balance.

“Having a trade is a great way to start your working life. An apprenticeship or traineeship can help you further your education or lead into other forms of employment.”

Brett Barklay