Many opportunities for personal and professional growth have come Bill Clarke’s way since completing the Citi New Recruits program, funded by the Citi Foundation and run by the Skilling Australia Foundation in 2019.
Employed by WPC Group and hosted at Toll Fleet Management in Eastern Creek NSW, Bill, who is now in his second year of his Heavy Vehicle apprenticeship, attributes his progress to the Citi New Recruits program and the opportunities he has been presented with during his time with Toll.
Prior to his apprenticeship, Bill was working in retail and was looking for an apprenticeship to commence his career within the automotive industry, but he was finding it difficult due to his age and lack of industry experience. The Citi New Recruits program was recommended to Bill when he first applied for an apprenticeship. With the support of his mum, who Bill says was pushing him to undertake an apprenticeship because she wanted to see him achieve something, Bill attended the two week program.
Following on from the two weeks of gaining employability skills, Bill spent a week undertaking work placement with Toll Fleet Management in Eastern Creek, who were so impressed with his enthusiasm and dedication that they then took him on as an apprentice. When talking about the program and how it helped him, Bill says, “The program helped me gain more confidence, gain relevant skills to use in the work experience and eventually get the job.”
Bill’s life has changed since he completed the program and commenced his apprenticeship, “I’m a lot healthier now, I have job stability, an understanding of the value of working and saving and I have been able to move out of home and rent a place of my own.”
Not only has his life change personally, he has also built his skills and experiences within the workplace. Showing his manager that he is happy to do whatever he can to help out and learn, Bill was given the opportunity to go and shut down a workshop with the Regional Manager. An opportunity only the best apprentices experience, enabling Bill to learn more about the workshops he works in and continue to build his passion for what he does.
Having people around him who support and inspire him, teaching him the basics; the technical terms for parts, telling him about the company and how he can progress within it, makes Bill love going to work every day.
If there was something Bill could tell someone who is deciding whether they wanted to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship it would be, “if you’re worried about your age – don’t be. Be determined and committed. You will get there eventually. Keep your head up and keep trying.” And for those who are about to commence their training, “At the start, listen to the qualified people and learn as much as you can. Come in every day and clean so that the workplace is ready – you will get respect from your boss and colleagues.”
Once Bill has completed his Heavy Vehicle apprenticeship he wants to stay in the industry and become a Workshop Manager.
Bill thanks the Citi Foundation for funding the Citi New Recruits Program, and Skilling Australia Foundation, WPC Group, and Toll Fleet Management for all they have done to help him achieve his goals.