For as long as she can remember, Melinda Lethbridge has always been fascinated with how things work. She credits the hands-on learning and teachers at TAFE for setting her on the path of a successful and satisfying career.
‘They had 30 years of industry experience behind them before they started teaching, so you can learn so much from them.’
For as long as she can remember, Melinda Lethbridge has always been fascinated with how things work.She credits the hands-on learning and teachers at TAFE for setting her on the path of a successful and satisfying career, picking up a swag of state and national awards along the way.‘
Hands-on training suited me better than tertiary education, and I saw a job there that would excite me day in and day out,’ Melinda reflects.
Melinda, the daughter of a fitter and turner, gained a Year 10 work experience placement at a large engineering company, which sparked her interest.There she worked alongside trades people who used maths and programming along with traditional tools. Melinda realised that an apprenticeship would provide the balance between theoretical and practical learning.Upon completing her VCE, Melinda returned to the engineering company to undertake her apprenticeship. She then enrolled at Swinburne University of Technology to complete a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade.
Melinda makes her mark
At Swinburne Melinda won the Best in First Year and Best in Third Year awards.
She also won a range of major state and national awards, including the Victorian and the Australian Apprentice of the Year. She now serves as an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador.
She has since taken on further studies, completing a Certificate IV in Engineering.
Swinburne, she says, had always been in her sights.
'I went to their open days and looked at their courses,’ she says.
‘It really appealed to me as an organisation because of the way the courses were structured and also the focus on hands-on work.’
Melinda says she owes much to her TAFE teachers.
'They had 30 years of industry experience behind them before they started teaching, so you can learn so much from them.’
TAFE can take you there
Victorian Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney said TAFE was the place where career aspirations could be fulfilled.‘
TAFE’s strong connection to industry means it can offer and support the courses and provide you with the skills and training most likely to lead to the job you want,’ she says.‘
TAFE can kick start your career or even help you on the road to a new career or a university degree.‘
TAFEs can work with industry to deliver apprenticeships and traineeships, and retrain workers with new skills for the jobs of today — and tomorrow.’
For more information, see: TAFE Victoria