Jake Russell loved woodwork at school, so it was a natural progression to complete a Certificate II in Cabinet Making at Melbourne Polytechnic.
His work placement during the course didn't just offer him experience – it offered him a job. Jake is now working for the company while studying his Certificate III in Cabinet Making.
Jake Russell has long had a passion for woodwork and chose to study his apprenticeship in the Melbourne Polytechnic Furniture and Cabinet Making program.
Jake Russell started woodwork in Year Eight and loved it so much he kept studying it for the rest of high school. When he finished school in 2008, Jake went on a tour of the facilities at the Melbourne Polytechnic Heidelberg Campus, where he met the teaching staff. Jake signed up two weeks later.
"I like working with my hands and it just seemed like a really practical course."
In 2009 he completed his pre-apprenticeship, gaining a Certificate II in Cabinet Making, Wood Machining and Furniture Finishing. While Jake enjoyed the on-campus program, he found the work placement to be the most useful learning experience. "They tell you what to do and what to expect but you don't really know until you get out there."
The placement, completed one day a week, didn't just offer experience. "At the end of the course, the workshop where I was doing my work placement offered me a job and I just started doing my Certificate III from there."
Since then, Jake has been working as an apprentice while studying theMelbourne Polytechnic Certificate III in Cabinet Making in the furniture making stream.
His skill has been recognised with an award from the Cabinet Makers Association in 2010, where his two-drawer cabinet won the award for Best Freestanding Furniture, and at the Melbourne Polytechnic Building and Construction Awards in November 2011, where he was awarded Most Outstanding Overall Apprentice for the furniture department.
Jake recognises that his Melbourne Polytechnic training has led to him working in a field for which he has a genuine passion.
"The course taught me everything I needed to know about the industry, a lot more than you would trying to learn it by yourself. The teachers were fantastic. They are all ex-tradies who have been in the job at least 15 to 20 years."
Having finished all the school work required for the Melbourne Polytechnic Certificate III in Cabinet Making, Jake is now working the required hours to finish off the apprenticeship. He intends to keep working in the industry for some time, gaining more experience.
Certificate III in Cabinet Making