Megan’s kicking goals as an apprentice at Harrop Electrical

Manager of Harrop Electrical standing in front of branded car with female apprentice

Megan first met her boss Chris when he coached her soccer team, years later he knew she’d make a great apprentice.

Chris is the owner of Harrop Electrical and he first came across The Apprenticeship Community when he faced challenges trying to access incentives for his apprentices.

Since then he’s gone on to engage a number of apprentices and when another apprenticeship opportunity opened up it turned out Megan had made an impression on Chris thanks to both her life and work experience.

“I think that taking on a mature age apprentice is a good idea because they can use our vehicles, and they’ve already gone through some of that early growth that every teenager experiences,” shares Chris.

“With Megan she’s coming in with a really good attitude, after just five or six weeks she’s holding her own, really helping and genuinely contributing to the team already which is fantastic.”

Mature age apprenticeships

The Apprenticeship Community helps adult workers change careers, or re-enter the workforce, through mature age apprenticeships and traineeships.

We understand that it’s increasingly common for people to change career multiple times throughout their working life. This is partly due to shifts across industries typically caused by digitalisation, automation, tech innovations and other factors post pandemic.

A mature age apprenticeship offers people a way to reinvent themselves professionally, with support, and while continuing to earn an income, which tends to be critical for mature age candidates.

Many mature workers find they have transferable workplace skills from past training, jobs, and life experience. This can help with fast tracking training and qualifications and can be formally acknowledgment as ‘recognition of prior learning’.

Practically speaking this is a great advantage for employers, with Chris pointing out that “Megan’s comfortable in this workplace because she’s previously trained in similar environments. There’s been no teaching her how to drill, use a handsaw, screwdriver, pair of pliers. It all comes naturally to her which has definitely helped.”

Support for mature age apprentices

Megan completed a cabinet making apprenticeship 12 years ago when, after a career break, Chris approached her to consider signing up for a Cert III in Electrotechnology.

Reflecting on her decision to change course Megan shares that, “cabinet making requires a lot of heavy lifting so this is definitely not as hard on the body.”

She’s loving her new role and is appreciative of the support she’s received from The Apprenticeship Community.

“I caught up with my apprenticeship field officer who helped with paperwork and has since kept in regular contact with me as I access funding like the Australian Apprenticeship Support Loan. It’s been helpful and really informative.”

Support for employers

The Apprenticeship Community offers employers and apprentices a range of support services including:

  • Financial assistance navigating the eligibility criteria and paperwork for government incentives
  • Recruitment advice
  • Mentoring support

“Our field officer Shirley has pretty much organised everything,” shares Chris. “She’s been fantastic, particularly with her ability to be flexible and put the time in to drive around and find me on site. The way she liaises with registered training organisations has made my life really easy.”

When asked to share advice for employers who may be considering engaging a mature apprentice or trainee Chris says simply, “Just go for it. You’re employing someone who already has life experience and life skills and that can be a great asset to your business.”

As for Megan, Chris believes she’s “a great example of what women in non-traditional trades can achieve. And not once but twice so I’m really happy she’s getting recognised for what she’s done in the past as well as for what she’s currently achieving.”

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