2020 NSW Training Awards Apprentice of the Year for North Coast Region
Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade
Jordan Peterson has big rigs in his blood. Growing up, Jordon spent hours out the front of his family’s Kempsey home washing his dad’s truck and helping him get ready for long haul trips. As soon as he was old enough, Jordon would join his dad on the occasional overnighter.
“It’s not bad being paid to travel and see the country.”
Those trips with his dad planted a seed in Jordon’s mind about what he might like to do, but they also provided him with a welcome distraction from some challenges he was facing closer to home. Jordon had a tough time at high school and felt like it was all a waste of time.
“I really wasn't into school and I was struggling.”
As it turned out, there was a good reason for Jordon’s disengagement. Midway through school, Jordon was diagnosed with dyslexia. The diagnosis helped explain a few things, but it was an introduction to VET and a change of schools that set Jordon on the career pathway he’s on today.
Jordon enrolled in Newman Technical College in Port Macquarie for his last two years and before long he was killing it. Just like schools in the Educational Pathways Pilot Program (EPPP), Newman allows students to incorporate ‘on the job’ training with their HSC subjects.
“Newman was awesome,” says Jordon. “I did a Cert II in Engineering Mechanical through VET in Schools and I got to compete in the 2016 WorldSkills National Championships where I finished second in the automotive category.”
After he graduated with the equivalent of the first year of an apprenticeship under his belt, Jordon started work with Nestlé. Working out of the company’s sprawling Smithtown factory, Jordon completed his apprenticeship in Engineering – Mechanical Trade, becoming a qualified fitter and machinist. He also picked up some more silverware for his trophy cabinet. In 2020, Jordon was crowned Apprentice of the Year at the North Coast & Mid North Coast Training Awards. It was a great result, and one that inspired Jordon to keep going.
“Once I finished at Nestlé, I started my heavy vehicle apprenticeship with Midcoast Trucks in Coffs Harbour,” says Jordon. “Now I’m a fully qualified machinist and a mechanic.”
With a couple of qualifications to his name, some valuable experience and a great attitude, Jordon has set himself up for a successful career. It’s not a bad outcome for a guy that definitely wasn’t into school until he discovered VET.