Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme – Rachel
I’m Rachel and I’m an apprentice who started in the Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme (IAP) 2015 intake. I work for the Department of Human Services in a Smart Centre in Launceston, Tasmania.
I’m originally from Flinders Island – a remote island approximately 54km North East of mainland Tasmania. Flinders Island has a population of 800 people and to get there you need to take a 35 minute flight in a small plane. It was fantastic growing up in such a small community but now I’m enjoying living in a bigger town, although I do miss the beach.
After finishing school at Flinders Island, I worked full time in a sales/administration position for a few years before moving to St Helens to take up a position on the local council. I then decided to move to Launceston to do a business degree at university. A friend told me about the IAP just before applications closed and it seemed like too good of an opportunity to miss out on so I submitted my application.
The main thing that attracted me to the IAP was the fact that it was an apprenticeship. I think apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to learn on the job while earning good money and receiving invaluable ongoing support.
I’ve received a lot of support from my team leader and at the beginning of the IAP I was assigned an Indigenous buddy, who works at my Smart Centre and is always there if I need help. I also have the support of an Indigenous mentor who is based in Devonport. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Devonport on a few occasions to learn more from my mentor by doing some job shadowing.
As part of the IAP I’ve been able to experience other areas of the department, such as face to face service delivery. While I’ve found the experience beneficial it has made me realise how much I enjoy working in a Smart Centre environment and helping customers over the phone.
Looking ahead, I’m keen to work towards an APS 4 position and in the future possibly aim for a team leader position. For now I’m concentrating on finishing my Certificate IV qualification and graduating from the IAP.