Haley’s gratitude on show at Paynters

At the end of each working day, NRL Cowboys House’s first year 11 school-based apprentice, Haley Pearson makes his way around his worksite and shakes each person’s hand, a sure sign of his gratitude for opportunities made possible through his place at the House.

A student at Tec-NQ, Haley started the school year at Ignatius Park College, but decided he wanted to pursue a trade – the problem was, he wasn’t sure which one.

Haley decided to try an automotive apprenticeship, soon realising that working on vehicles wasn’t his calling, choosing instead to try his hand at carpentry.

With the help of the House Transitions team, supported by Waanyi Joint Venture, Haley was given an opportunity to undertake two weeks of work placements at a range of businesses, before settling on a construction trade with Paynters.

Accepting their offer to start a school-based apprenticeship, Haley said his desire to move away from the automotive industry to take up the trade in civil construction was driven by where he saw himself spending his workdays.

“I just wanted to be outdoors more,” he said. “I attended work experience placements with a few businesses which was great, and one of them was Paynters where I enjoyed working the most.

“While I was on placement I made sure I left a good impression with staff and supervisors because I wanted to return for another work experience block, but instead of being offered another placement they offered me a school-based apprenticeship which was unexpected.

“I really enjoy working with the people at Paynters and they really support me; I feel comfortable speaking up if I have any questions and I’m also enjoying the exposure to different areas of construction.”

Haley now finds himself working on several significant projects as part of the Paynters team, including the Mater Hospital’s five-storey carpark due for completion in early 2022.

There is also potential for Haley to be part of the major refurbishment of Reef HQ, with Paynters currently contracted for Phase 1 of the works (design and development).

The site experience to date is providing valuable, firsthand exposure to the structural aspects of construction with the Reef HQ project a promising, once in a lifetime opportunity that carries international appeal.

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships are enabling NRL Cowboys House students, generally in Years 10-12, to work for an employer and train towards a recognised qualification, while completing their secondary schooling and studying for their Queensland Certificate of Education or Australian Tertiary Admission Rank.

Paynters have commended Haley for his strong work ethic and general demeanour in the workplace, and view the keen teen as a future pioneer for others who wish to undertake school-based apprenticeships.

Haley has nearly completed his Certificate I in Construction and Paynters Site Manager, Mark Roberts said Haley is always early to work, never in a rush to leave and is always looking for his next task once his current ones are complete.

“The Certificate II in Civil Construction provides the trainees with a wide exposure to the construction industry allowing the trainee to gain a qualification and be in a good position to know if construction is the right career for them before leaving school,” he said.

“As with all our trainees, we have no expectation of any technical skills however Haley does show the commitment we look for when employing trainees. Anyone looking to secure a job or traineeship could learn a lot from Haley.

“If Haley is comfortable in speaking to other students wishing to enter the workforce he would make a good role model for them, as his work ethic, enthusiasm and manners will take him a long way in his working life.”

Haley’s career aspirations include finishing his apprenticeship with Paynters and moving into full-time work, with hopes to one day become a manager.

His advice to other ambitious students is to turn up on time every day, show a strong commitment and make the most of life’s opportunities.

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