Old Scholar Chad Davis embraces his plumbing career


Enjoying tradie life, third year plumbing apprentice and St Pat’s Old Scholar (Class of ’20), Chad Davis is embracing his plumbing career.

“I absolutely love everything about my trade – meeting new clients, being able to assist them when in need, and being the best I can.”

“My week will consist of unblocking drains, installing hot water systems, diagnosing all plumbing related problems and then fixing them.”

Employed by local family owned and operated business Playford Plumbing and Gas, Chad undertook several work experience placements with the business before securing his apprenticeship.

“During work experience at St Pat’s, I had opportunities to try a range of different trades and find a trade that was fitting to me,” Chad said.

“I commenced at the college as a construction student, but because of the flexibility of the curriculum, I was able to try a range of trades and found that plumbing was what I wanted to do as a career.

“After gaining my apprenticeship, finishing Year 12 was still important to me and having the ongoing support of all my teachers. Commencing as a school-based apprentice meant I was able to still complete my Year 12 (SACE) studies.”

The College’s apprenticeship and traineeship manager, Alicea Sherin, says school-based apprenticeships are allowing students to gain practical skills, learn and earn on the job, and at the same time work towards completing the SACE.

“Rather than dropping out of school to seek a full-time apprenticeship, students are continuing with their secondary schooling and achieving a higher level of learning.

“There’s a level of maturity that comes along with a school-based apprenticeship – the students are already out in the workplace, so they understand the importance of work expectations and responsibility.”

With tradie demand on the rise across the country and with the current climate of worker and skill shortage, there is a bank of opportunities for young people to commence their trade careers.

Already 23 students at the College have successfully secured apprenticeships this school year. Like Chad, of those, six students have commenced their first trade career in plumbing.

“We are witnessing an increased number of employers contacting the College to promote employment and work experience opportunities within their business,” Sherin says.

“Opportunities for students to undertake work trials, work experience, and apply for apprenticeship opportunities, which are then published on our digital job noticeboard accessible by students, parents, and teachers.

“Students are very keen to enter the plumbing industry and are actively seeking these employment opportunities.

“Once they have identified through work experience the type of plumbing they want to work in, and have gained their drivers licence to meet employer’s employment needs, students have the opportunity to register their interest in applying for an apprenticeship opportunity.”

As for as long as he can remember, Chad has always wanted to be on the tools and is thankful for his trade learning.

“At St Pat’s, there was more hands-on trade explicit learning. I am a person who learns better with their hands and for me a mainstream school couldn’t do that,” Chad said.

“The trade curriculum was relevant, and it kept me engaged. I feel university is not for everyone and personally, I feel a trade school pathway was more for me.”

Students interested in a plumbing career can commence trade learning at the college and enrol in the plumbing program undertaking a Certificate II in Plumbing (pre-apprenticeship).

Students who successfully gain an apprenticeship will either remain enrolled at the college, completing their Year 10, 11 or 12 SACE requirements as a school-based apprentice or trainee, or will choose to exit the college due to gaining a full-time apprenticeship or employment.