VET gives Daniel’s career a positive charge

With the NSW Training Awards happening on Friday, Brendan Berecry meets one of the trainees in the running for honours.

An electrician in safety gear including gloves and plastic face mask checks out a fuse box An electrician in safety gear including gloves and plastic face mask checks out a fuse box
Image: An unexpected pathway: Daniel Arroyo at work at Bluescope.

When Daniel Arroyo recognised he wanted to pursue a career as an electrician, he knew he had to overcome several obstacles in order to succeed.

His selection as an apprentice of the year finalist in the NSW Training Awards to be held at Sydney Town Hall on Friday night shows he is already well on his way.

Mr Arroyo said he thought he would be disadvantaged in trying to get an apprenticeship at the age of 24.

“However, after multiple interviews and making it all the way to the final stages just to be knocked back, my persistence paid off and I secured a job with HVTC,” he said.

Mr Arroyo started his apprenticeship with HVTC and host employer BlueScope, while completing a Certificate III in Electrotechnology through TAFE NSW.

“I have always had an interest in electrical systems ever since I first learned about basic electrical circuits back in high school,” he said.

“I worked numerous jobs after I had left school trying to find a career path, and was eventually presented with the opportunity to complete an electrical pre-apprenticeship course. Upon completion, I realised this was the career I wanted to pursue.”

Committed to learning all he could from his employer, BlueScope, Mr Arroyo made the most of every opportunity.

As he gained experience and confidence, Mr Arroyo found himself being given more responsibility, and earning the respect of his colleagues.

He also then took on a mentoring role, offering support and guidance to newer apprentices at the company.

“These skills have helped me not only while at work but also in my day to day life. I have been taught invaluable lessons by experienced tradespeople, but I have also had the opportunity to show what I have learned when working with/mentoring younger apprentices,” the Illawarra-based worker said.

Just three years into his apprenticeship, Mr Arroyo secured a full-time position with BlueScope.

Mr Arroyo is now undertaking further study to extend his expertise in his chosen field, and in doing so has exceeded his own personal expectations.

Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he plans to start a Diploma in Electrical Engineering, something he never thought possible.

“During my time as an apprentice I have learned to look at the bigger picture,” Mr Arroyo said.

“Sacrifices such as a lower income and lifestyle changes are needed in order to further your future self.

“I have gone from a 24-year-old ‘kid’ to a man with a career and a family. I have found a profession I am passionate about and I have learned skills I didn’t think I could have.

“Being able to see what I have achieved has changed my life and made me a more confident, outgoing person both at work and in the community.”

The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by Training Services NSW in recognition of outstanding achievements in Vocational and Education Training.

A full list of winners will be available after the event.

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