Joel Schwarz grew up on a vineyard and has always been surrounded by machinery. He is currently enrolled in a Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology and is undertaking a school-based apprenticeship with Sunrise Ag, an agricultural machinery company.
Joel’s work covers a large range of machinery, from combine harvesters and broad acre tractors to hoes, slashers and seeding implements. Joel trains with SuniTAFE.
In 2013 Joel was also completing his VCE at Mildura Senior College, and was highly appreciative of the teachers in their desire to be flexible with his courses and timetable to cater for his apprenticeship.
In that year Joel was recognised for his exceptional work in the Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology by winning the Victorian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award at the Victorian Training Awards and then progressing onto the Australian Training Awards, winning the School-based Apprentice of the Year Award. The judges found him to have a great understanding of his industry and emerging trends and to display maturity and insight in his work.
“The vocational engineering training has been pivotal to kick-starting my dream career. I have found that the skills learned carry across and are applicable to my work as a mechanic and will open up more doors in the future. If I can fix and manufacture mechanical machinery, and show this with the appropriate trade qualifications, then that makes me a very employable person with large and broad career options. My advice to others is just give it a go if you have the passion,” said Joel.
In 2014, Joel became an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador (like The Block’s Scott Cam). He also represented Australia at the second annual APEC Youth Skills Camp in Beijing. “I never imagined that completing an Australian School-based Apprenticeship and my involvement with the Australian Training Awards would lead to representing my country in China,” Joel said.