Melbourne Polytechnic graduate, Kyle Bevans, wanted to learn a trade after several years of working casual jobs after school.
His choice of locksmithing proved to be a good decision. Last year he was named the MLAA’s Apprentice of the Year and he now works as a locksmith in Bendigo.
Two years spent working at casual jobs convinced Bendigo resident Kyle Bevans he needed to learn a trade. “I knew I wanted a trade but I wanted to do something different,” he says. Watching a television show about gangland crime proved, unusually, to be the turning point. “One of the characters said, ‘we need a locksmith to crack this safe’, and I thought that sounds like an interesting job,” he says.
It turned out to be the right choice. Just four years later, the 21-year-old was named the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia’s Apprentice of the Year at their annual conference on the Gold Coast. The prize was an all expenses paid trip to Europe for both Kyle and his employer to visit locksmithing manufacturers Silca and Abus. “I’m really stoked about it. It felt surreal,” says Kyle, who accepted his award at a gala dinner at Jupiter’s Casino in October. The award has not only given his career prospects a boost, it’s also earned him notoriety in the Bendigo newspapers. “There was a lot of hype over it, but it’s good to be acknowledged,” he says. “The trip will be a good life experience and I’ll be able to have a look at different product lines in the industry.”
When he left school, Kyle worked in casual jobs at Autobarn and also as a builder’s labourer, before starting work at Bendigo Locksmiths. He subsequently applied for his apprenticeship at Melbourne Polytechnic where he completed the Certificate III in Locksmithing on block release i.e. attending TAFE in block periods rather than a day a week. He credits the teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic with helping to prepare him for the MLAA competition, in addition to his career. “They told me what to expect and how to prepare myself. On the day I managed to get everything done. The hardest thing was trying to focus. There was so much to do in the eight hours they allotted us.”
Kyle says the teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic were prepared to go the extra mile to ensure apprentices received a solid grounding in the industry. “They have an answer for every question. They go that bit further to help you out. A lot of the stuff we do, they can do with their eyes closed. But they’re always trying to improve their knowledge as well.”
In the future, Kyle is planning further training in specialised areas such as alarms and digital safes. He says one of the best things about a career in locksmithing is the variety. “Every day is different. You could be working at a factory changing the locks one day. The next day you might be at a brand new apartment building working on safes or security systems.”
Certificate III in Locksmithing