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Switching the polo shirt for hi-vis and a hard hat, ex youth worker Joel Wilkins took a punt on a job as a Trainee Operator in rail infrastructure almost a year ago and hasn’t looked back.
Joel seized the opportunity after completing a Certificate II in Civil Construction. Following his course trainer’s suggestion to work on the METRONET Yanchep Rail Extension Project, he’s now gaining industry experience in a supportive team environment and hopes to mentor others in the future.
“My course trainer had previously worked with METRONET and pointed me in the right direction, recommending the project and reassuring me I’d be looked after,” Joel said.
Local to the project, Joel enjoys the diversity of the job and applying his technical skills onsite.
“It’s a great team effort maintaining good communication to move material, bring it to a grader or dozer and level each part of the site correctly, and the diversity working on large machinery like moxie haulage trucks and flat-drum rollers keeps things interesting,” he said.
“I enjoy working in the rail industry as every day there’s a new task and challenge and it's rewarding to see all of your hard work fall into place and the project start to take shape.”
Looking forward, Joel has his sights set on a mentoring role in the construction industry.
In five years’ time, I'd like to have enough experience up my sleeve to assist other up-and-coming trainees and help guide and mentor them as this is where my heart is and something I've always been passionate about,” Joel said.