The Fundamentals of Carpentry

What three things do Matt Tilley, Mitch Todman and Brad Ryan have in common?

They all love their work in the Building and Construction industry, live in the Illawarra and started their career with the Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship (PA) course at TAFE NSW Illawarra Wollongong.

The commonalities don’t end there. The three carpenters now work together.

Matt Tilley is Construction Supervisor for the global company, Frasers Property Australia at Shell Cove after getting the basic foundations of building from the Carpentry PA course in 2005.

“The PA course was great. I went out on site and shaved six months off my apprenticeship. Being onsite provided lots of benefit for me and my boss,” says Matt.

“I really enjoy the hands-on side of the trade and it has fulfilled a life-long dream of being a carpenter,” he said.

Mitch Todman has been sub-contracting with Matt for the past two months and completed his PA in 2009.

“For me personally, I learned the fundamental part of becoming a builder with the course. It’s very hands on which is how I like to learn. It was good to physically practice what you learned in the classroom the day before,” says Mitch.

“I can notice the apprentices who have done the course and ones that haven’t,” he says.

Brad Ryan has been working for Mitch over the last few months after completing his PA in 2015.

“I think it’s possibly the best course you can ask for. I think it should be mandatory,” says Brad.

“You learn the basics of the trade and the confidence in one year ‘cos you have done the practical stuff in front of a teacher who is a tradie,” he says.

Brad loved the way the course has helped him: “You make a mistake and you learn from it. The teachers give you the room to make the mistakes,” he says.

Brad on work: “I love it; it doesn’t feel like work to me. It’s all good fun ‘cos I work with a great bunch of blokes,” says Brad.