Craig Haylock is thriving in his apprenticeship after starting with South West Isuzu nine years ago as a casual employee washing cars.
Craig, 33, is a mature-age, first-year light automotive apprentice mechanic with South West Isuzu in Bunbury, regional WA – and nothing is going to come between him and a trade certificate.
Not Autism Spectrum Disorder, not Type 1 Diabetes and certainly not lack of effort, enthusiasm or loyalty to his employer.
His journey to an apprenticeship is as inspiring as it is to be admired and started with diabetes preventing him from continuing his job of five years in a meat processing factory.
“I had to leave that job due to my diabetes, but that is how I ended up becoming an apprentice,” he said.
Craig started a casual job washing cars at South West Isuzu in 2014 and his work ethic was immediately noticed. He was soon employed full time and later given another opportunity as an accessory fitter at the dealership.
Nine years on he commenced his apprenticeship to the delight of management and staff.
“Craig has been a fantastic employee who has earned every bit of his opportunity,” Service Manager Dean Pollard said.
“We admire him because he’s hard-working, reliable, a great team player and fun to work with.”
Craig said the support he gets from his employer is what gave him the confidence to consider an apprenticeship.
“They know I have ASD and understand my needs,” he said.
“Sometimes I’ll read instructions and not fully understand but they’ll explain things to me and it all makes sense.’’
Craig’s loyalty especially shows in his time keeping, arriving no later than 7.45am for an 8am start – every day.
“I have 100 percent never been late for work,” he says proudly.
“I’d feel guilty if I was late. And if you have a day off sick it’s because you need to not because you want to.”
In 2018, Craig was the inaugural winner of the company’s Above and Beyond Award for Outstanding Service. He has also applied for DAAWS funding and is looking forward to his TAFE studies with Tutorial Support.