Ruby - Cert III, Building and Construction

I’m really glad I didn’t go to uni, and went off to TAFE and did the courses I actually wanted to do.

Ruby studied Building and Construction at Chisholm Institute of TAFE and finished her apprenticeship a year-and-a-half ago. Growing up, she was always interested in building.

‘I actually wanted to be a draftsman. I’ve wanted to be a draftsman since I was 10 years old. So, I went off and started an advanced diploma in building design at TAFE the year I left school.’

Ruby did the course for 6 months before realising that she wanted more practical experience.

‘I needed to be a bit more hands-on and understand how a building is put together.’

Through labouring, Ruby was offered her apprenticeship and now runs her own business.

‘It’s hard but I’m quite enjoying it. I can do things my way. I can pick and choose my jobs, which is pretty good. I quite like working by myself, anyway, so I get more done.’

Ruby’s TAFE journey began in 2012 and continues to shape her career, letting her take further steps as she’s needed them.

Tell us about going to TAFE

‘I’m really glad I didn’t go to uni and went off to TAFE and did the courses I actually wanted to do. Everyone’s so nice and the teachers really help you. I’ve had a really good experience.

When I first started my apprenticeship, I had a few fears like, ‘how I’m going to do this? Everything in this work is so hard, physically hard. How am I going to pick up all this heavy material? And, what if I can’t do as much as the boys can?’ But it’s actually not as bad as I thought.’

What does ‘making it’ mean to you?

‘I set myself goals: what I want to do in life, and I try my hardest to achieve them.’

What challenges do you face at work?

‘Pretty much every day is a challenge, really, but you have to just think of ways to get around it. Obviously, my work is quite physical, so that is quite challenging in itself, but I’ve got used to it now. You find ways in which you can handle things easier and manoeuvre things.’

What’s next?

‘Continuing to pursue building design. I still want to do it.’

Do you have any advice for school leavers?

‘Try not to think about it too much. Just give it a go and don’t be scared – you won’t know until you try. Give it a go and don’t be afraid.’