Melbourne Polytechnic graduate Lukas Page had always loved woodwork and knew it was the career for him.
Through the course at Melbourne Polytechnic, Lukas had the opportunity to enter Australia’s top trade skills competition, Worldskills, where he won gold for joinery, boosting his career and winning a scholarship trip to the UK.
When Lukas Page left school he knew he wanted a career in woodwork. “I’ve always been interested in making things and timber was the choice that seemed to fit. I did woodwork at high school so it progressed from there.” After starting his apprenticeship at a fencing and veranda company in Brunswick, Lukas enrolled in the Certificate III in Off-site Construction (Joinery-Timber/Aluminium/Glass) at Melbourne Polytechnic. Last year, he won a gold medal for joinery at the prestigious Worldskills Competition, Australia’s top trade skills event. “I had no idea something like that would happen when I first started out,” he says.
Before he started working in joinery, Lukas enrolled in a furniture technology course at another institution, but it wasn’t for him so he dropped out. When he began the Melbourne Polytechnic course, he knew he’d made the right choice. “I knew straight away because joinery is very precise work. Everything has to be very accurate down to the millimetre, so it’s really quite unique.” While his work mainly involves window awnings and feature gates made of solid timber, at Melbourne Polytechnic he had the chance to learn other skills including stair-building and shop-fitting. “It was more detailed than what I was doing at work so it was good.”
Lukas, who will complete his apprenticeship later this year, before travelling to the UK as part of a scholarship offered by Worldskills, says the Melbourne Polytechnic course has taught him to be more accurate with his work. “I learned a lot more different techniques and different types of joints. I also learned different ways of doing things.” His teachers helped prepare him for the Worldskills competition, putting him through some intense training in the lead-up. Inspired by their enthusiasm, the 22-year-old is eventually planning to become a TAFE teacher. “I like passing on my knowledge to the younger generation. I enjoy watching people grow and learn new things. The teachers inspired me because they enjoyed their job so much.”
In the meantime Lukas is looking forward to his UK trip where he will complete two weeks of leadership training, followed by several months work experience at a London timber firm. Experiencing such success this early in his career has opened a lot of doors. “It felt pretty good to be called the best joiner under 25 in Australia,” he says. “I guess I love working with my hands. It’s very satisfying to look up and see what you’ve created at the end of a day’s work.”
Certificate III in Off-site Construction (Joinery/Timber/Aluminium/Glass)