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Meet Tim Hutchings - How his career went full circle from TAFE student to TAFE teacher!

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Meet Tim Hutchings. He is a Teacher at Wodonga TAFE who started his journey as a student here more than 17 years ago.

Tim, like many young people, growing up he was unsure of the direction he wanted his career to take. Growing up in Yackandandah, Tim knew he had a desire to pursue working in a trade, but was unsure of which one,

“I always knew I wanted to work with my hands, building things and seeing them come together, but I hadn’t really chosen an industry,” he explains.

During year 10, in 2002, Tim decided to complete a welding course at Wodonga TAFE, which was run by Chris Cheater (our current Engineering teacher). This gave Tim the opportunity to learn more about the fabrication welding industry, a number of local opportunities available, and how to best approach a business if you want to pursue an apprenticeship in a fabrication trade. He also enhanced his job prospects by completing a Welder Certification (AS1796) Welding Certificate 7 (Pressure Pipe) during the 4th year of his apprenticeship.

After having completed the welding course, Tim realised he enjoyed the fabrication industry, and at the end of 2004, after completing high school, Tim began working for JC Butko Engineering and started his apprenticeship at Wodonga TAFE in 2005.

During his work at JC Butko, Tim specifically did fabrication work relating to stainless steel. This meant creating food-grade vessels for large food and wine producers in the local region.

After working at JC Butko for 6 years, and having successfully completed his apprenticeship, Tim and his partner decided to embark on the sea change they had been dreaming of and moved to Coffs Harbour.

Tim recalls, “having the trade behind me made it easy to find a new position, I walked into three businesses with my resume and by the end of the day had offers from two of them.”

In 2014, Tim and his partner spent a year in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia. Kalgoorlie (as it is known) is an old gold mining town and due to the towns ingrained mining nature, there are a large amount of Engineering jobs available.

They then returned to Coffs Harbour for the birth of their first child in mid-2015 where Tim started a new job as Leading Hand in a busy fabrication workshop. Then he was offered the opportunity in January of this year to take up a teaching role back at Wodonga TAFE right back to where his career journey began.

 “I love seeing the skills I’ve developed throughout my career being passed on, with students learning about a concept, then progressing from no experience, to becoming confident with the machinery.”

Once Tim heard about the role to become a Fabrication teacher at Wodonga TAFE through family he jumped at the opportunity, where he now is a valued and respected member of the faculty.

“I am currently completing my TAE qualification within my teaching role at Wodonga TAFE and am finding it quite a challenge as I have never excelled when it comes to study. However, I am pushing forward with the challenges and am motivated and excited to achieve my goal of the complete qualification as a TAFE teacher.”

Teaching careers can start anywhere, from a short-course right through to a full Diploma. Once you have your qualifications and industry experience, you can complete a TAE course and be qualified to pass on your skills and knowledge to the next generation of workers.

Visit our website at www.wodongatafe.edu.au/courses  for more information on the TAE course that we offer, or call our customer service team on 1300 698 233 if you would like to chat with someone in detail about the opportunities we currently have for new Teachers at Wodonga TAFE.



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