Head start on Cabinet Making and Joinery at School with a School Based Apprenticeship

Posted: 24th Oct

School based Apprenticeships and Traineeships are one way to prepare for a full-time apprenticeship when you leave school. SbATs involve learning on the job one day a week and training half a day a week at TAFE as well as doing your senior certificate at school.

Matthew Jones from Oberon High School is employed as a SbAT by JPH Joinery in Belmont. He started by doing work experience in Year 9 and progressed to a SbAT in Year 10.

“I work all day on a Thursday and go to the Gordon on Wednesday afternoons. I am doing a mixture of VCAL and VCE subjects including VCE Maths and I will finish school with some of my Certificate III in Cabinet Making / Joinery already completed.”

What’s the best bit?

Matthew explains, “One of the biggest benefits of doing the SbAT is that it will give me time off my apprenticeship. You get 6 months for every year of the SbAT, so all being good at the end of this year if I’m offered an apprenticeship I will go in as a second year apprentice.”

Josh Hutton, Matthew’s employer at JPH Joinery, is full of praise for SbATs. “The concept is great. I wish we had this when I was at school. The young people that do it know the system, know the expectations, know the work and it’s a natural flow on to a full time apprenticeship.”

Matthew is enjoying his training. “The SbAT has been a great experience. I’ve learnt a lot of things in the work place and can do many more things independently now, plus what you learn at the Gordon in terms of using equipment and new skills and ways to do things, prepares you really well for knowing the job and the expectations.”

“At work now I can operate the CNC machine, the Edgebander and use most of the power tools we have


in the business. At the Gordon I’ve learnt to operate the big panel saw, plus use some of the other specialised tools and equipment. I’ve really enjoyed the project based learning at the Gordon over the past 2 years, as it allows you to apply the skills you are learning.”

read more of Matthew's story and see him at work here