Name: Kane Williams
Job: Associate Director at GTA, now Stantec
VET: Advanced Diploma of Engineering, Advanced Diploma of Engineering (Technology)
Having a vocational qualification has helped me get where I am
What do you do?
I started work as a civil design draftsperson where I designed new roads, intersections, public transport facilities and any upgrades to transport infrastructure. I would also write reports about future impacts to the transport system and what can be done to best keep people moving safely.
Now I’m an Associate Director which means that I lead a team of people who do the detailed work and provide strategic guidance for my team.
What was your VET journey?
I enjoyed high school; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next but I wanted to continue studying. My skills leant themselves to STEM.
I studied both an Advanced Diploma in Engineering and an Advanced Diploma in Engineering (Technology) after finishing school. I had the option to do a third year and finish with a Bachelor of Engineering, but I started working and it was so rewarding.
I was concerned about not having the same opportunities without a degree, but I’ve been at the company for 16 years now and my professional opportunities have not been limited in any way thus far. Having a vocational qualification has helped me get where I am, especially as my employer has valued the practical skills I brought to the workplace.
What advice would you give to students who are considering a vocational pathway?
The biggest thing you can do is get into the workplace and work hard. I needed the certificate to get through the gate, but by working I was able to access so many opportunities.
Don’t feel pressure because your friends are going to university.
What challenges did you face along the way?
I’ve been really lucky, I have been able to grow and change with the company. My first and only job interview was 16 years ago and since then I’ve moved to Sydney for 18 months to build a new team and had experience across our business groups.
I’ve always enjoyed hands-on learning in the workplace. There were times when I was concerned that only having an Advanced Diploma would not be enough but it’s never held me back from opportunities.
Normal business hours.
Inside or outside?
Both. It’s great to work in an office and we get to travel out on-site quite a bit.
Solo or teamwork?
Both. It’s definitely the team that brings the projects together though.
Working in a nice office in the CBD, working on huge projects that are changing Victoria, and plenty of time for family.
People don't know?
How important exercise is for your wellbeing.
$1,500 per week for an experienced civil design draftsperson
Reviewed 20 July 2021