From an early age, Blake had the construction industry in his blood. Inspired by his father who was a site supervisor for a small construction company, on his school holidays he loved going to work with him and experiencing all the action on site.
This then led to Blake doing some work in his high school years with different building contractors, mainly working with carpenters for Tilt Panel construction. Blake was adamant that he preferred working with his hands and in the outdoors – being stuck in an office all day was not for him!
In 2008 and straight after high school, BUSY At Work, an Australian Apprenticeship Support provider, signed Blake into a carpentry apprenticeship so that he could gain the necessary qualification to further his career in construction.
Blake said of his apprenticeship years, “I would describe my apprenticeship as a really enjoyable experience! I was with a great host/boss who I learned everything from and I was also surrounded by good supervisors and other mentors. They taught me everything I needed to know about carpentry as well as good life lessons like ‘being early is on time’. They gave me a good eye for detail and the standard of a good finish was set in early.
“In the time frame of my apprenticeship we were very busy building townhouses and houses in estates around Brisbane but from this I learned a lot in a short amount of time.”
Blake excelled in his apprenticeship, completing the qualification in three and a half years, six months earlier than the standard four-year time frame.
Since finishing his apprenticeship, Blake then went on to subcontract to another building group building more typical homes, as well as high end homes, and retirement homes in the Brisbane region. Once he gained enough confidence, Blake then went out building for himself with another partner doing the same sort of work. When he sub-contracted to Hutchinson Builders, this furthered his career path to General Foreman and then Site Manager, the company hiring and supporting him to gain his building supervisor qualification.
“I quoted and completed a small fit-out project for Hutchinson Builders and once that job was completed, I ended up working for them as a Leading Hand/ Junior Foreman over in Western Australia, managing the build of 23 houses. After a year in WA, I came back as General Foreman, working on a wide range of projects in the larger commercial industry. Eight years later I am still with Hutchies, now as a Site Manager.”
From where it all began when BUSY At Work signed Blake into his apprenticeship all those years ago, Blake was recently the site foreman for Hutchinsons on a building project for The BUSY Group which involved fitting out The BUSY Schools new Southport Girls+ campus building. The campus fit-out is now complete and the campus due to open for Term 2, 2023, which begins next week. The new campus looks sensational, thanks to Blake and the rest of the Hutchinson’s crew.
When asked if Blake had any advice for someone wanting to start a trade apprenticeship, he stated, “Go for it! I 100% recommend completing an apprenticeship in carpentry or any other construction trade. Having the trade background and the knowledge I gained during my apprenticeship has led to me to the career I have now. Some things I learned during my apprenticeship I still use to this day, 15 years later!”
Find out more about apprenticeships and how they can benefit your career path.