News & Insights | From the classroom to a class-great, DIPP graduate wins Australian Trainee of the Year!

From the classroom to a class-great, DIPP graduate wins Australian Trainee of the Year!

2 February 2023

In August 2022, 15 trainees graduated from the second intake of the newly formed Defence Industry Pathways Program (DIPP). One of these graduates was Brittany-Leigh Wragg, who received the award of 2022 Australian Trainee of the Year.

The Defence Industry Pathways Program (DIPP) is an Australian Government initiative supported by South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services. This program was designed to provide participants with the necessary skills to take up the thousands of jobs that will be required in our nation’s defence industry over the coming decades.

The 12-month traineeship program provides trainees with exposure to a variety of host employers within the maritime defence industry, while studying for a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways qualification with South Metropolitan TAFE.

Being one of the first students to study a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways Program, Brittany-Leigh has sampled a variety of jobs while undertaking work placement rotations and gained real-life experience, all while building up a network of industry contacts. Brittany says that the unwavering support from the team at Programmed Training Services and South Metropolitan TAFE that helped her feel confident about her chosen career pathway in a male-dominated industry.

During her traineeship Brittany was provided with hands on training and had the opportunity to work on the Offshore Patrol Vessels and the Royal Australian Navy’s ANZAC Class Frigates. She worked in production, materials, quality control and has done a variety of work on the vessels around associated trades.

How was your experience completing a traineeship with Programmed?

My experience doing a traineeship with Programmed was like no other. There was such an overwhelming amount of support from everyone involved. I was lucky enough to be part of a training (program) that was new to everyone, so having people constantly there sharing their knowledge and services made the whole journey so encouraging and reassured me that I was in the right industry. My only regret is that I didn’t do something like this earlier.

What are some of the key highlights from your traineeship?

My biggest take away from the traineeship is that with the right resources anything is possible. I was lucky enough to meet amazing people and make great connections within the industry. The level of exposure I received throughout my training is definitely my biggest highlight.

Being shown and explained projects in a way that not many people will have the opportunity of ever experiencing is something I’ll be so grateful of forever. This level of exposure throughout my journey really helped prepare me for life outside of my training. The traineeship catered for everyone and having such a wide range of experiences really pushed me and showed me what it is that I want to do and how I can go about it in the future.

What are your plans for the future?

Being part of the traineeship really changed me personally and professionally. I feel so much more confident about where I want to end up and how to positively assert myself within a workplace.

This has led me to starting an apprenticeship as a mechanical fitter/machinist and I look forward to slowly moving into roles that will provide support to females and young people within the workplace. I really believe that this industry provides so many learning opportunities and that the world is truly my oyster. I love learning and look forward to soaking up as much knowledge as I can and proving myself, so I constantly move up!

What advice would you give to other people, especially women, looking to start their careers and are not sure how to?

I would encourage anyone to go for any opportunity they feel could benefit them or bring them closer to their goals. No journey comes without challenges, but it’s all the road bumps that come along that really shape you and show you what you’re truly capable of. For females thinking about taking up a similar role in this environment I would say exactly the same. What you put into your learning is exactly what you’ll get out of it and so much more. This environment and these companies are so supportive, and you can really succeed if you apply yourself. Help is always around the corner and there’s no shame in picking people’s brains and finding what works for you!

Looking to create a career pathway through a traineeship or apprenticeship? Browse opportunities here

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