Michael Lilburn liked hands-on subjects like woodwork when he was at school, so when he found an ad in the paper for a sheet-metal worker, he gave it a shot.
“I gave it a go and I just loved it,” Michael says. “I worked with them for a little while before they offered me an apprenticeship. I accepted it and here I am.”
After three years of training at Kangan Batman TAFE and doing an apprenticeship with his employers, The Flue Factory, 21-year-old Michael is now their fully-qualified Sheet Metal Tradesman. That means, as well as making flues and components for heaters, he gets to do a lot of one-off jobs, which he loves.
“We get all sorts of people coming in who need special parts; I’ll take their drawings and make it up for them.”
Michael says the job is hands-on, very physical and requires good hand-eye coordination, but he also likes the mental work involved.
“You have to visualise how your 3D product is going to come together from a flat sheet. If you don’t plan it properly, you’re going to get halfway through making it and realise it doesn’t work.”
It’s challenging and satisfying work, Michael says.
“My favourite part of the job is looking at a massive 3D end product and thinking once upon a time that was a flat sheet of metal. You really get a kick out of it.”
Click here to view the Sheetmetal Trades Worker occupation page
Marks out, shapes, forms and joins sheetmetal and other materials to make produc...
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