2017 NSW Training Awards School-Based Apprentice of the Year
Horticulture - Parks and Gardens Certificate III
Mark Doughty has always been into gardening. At 14, he was banking decent pocket money running his own lawn mowing business. Two years later, the McCarthy Catholic College student enrolled in a school based apprenticeship in Horticulture and he hasn’t looked back.
Since completing his SBAT and finishing school, Mark’s landscaping career has really taken off. Now a fully-qualified landscape gardener working on some pretty impressive projects, Mark puts a lot of his success down to the apprenticeship he started at school.
“For two years you go to school three days a week, you’re paid work the fourth day, and on the fifth, you’re learning your VET trade,” says Mark. “You come out with real-life experience, a great CV, your HSC, and the first and potentially second year of your apprenticeship or traineeship all done and dusted.”
“For me, it’s all about school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.”
As passionate as Mark is about SBATs, he also understands that education doesn’t stop when you leave school. After completing his apprenticeship, Mark went back to TAFE to do an irrigation course.
“The irrigation qualification will mean that I’m first cab off the rank if my bosses need help in that area,” says Mark. “I can be the one to put my hand up.”
It’ll also come in handy when he’s running his own business, which has been Mark’s plan from day one. It’s why he added a Certificate III in Financial Services to his HSC mix.
“One day I want to be my own boss and own a business that specialises in premium parks and gardens,” says Mark. “That course helped me understand what it takes to keep a business going financially.”
Mark’s appetite for knowledge hasn’t been dampened by his success. He’s still as keen as he was as an apprentice and he still looks at every job as an opportunity to learn.
“I really enjoy the transformative nature of my work.”
When Mark compares the before and after photos of his jobs, he doesn’t give himself a pat on the back. He thinks, ‘How can I do even better?’ It’s that hunger, combined with his VET training, that’s fuelling his success.