Donated engine to enhance Automotive practical skills

This engine was generously donated by Steve Bell of Mansfield Crushing after it was replaced in one of their mobile screens, Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd, commenced operations in 1989 under the name of Steve Bell Earthmoving. Specialising in civil contracting works, Steve Bell Earthmoving quickly grew from a one-man operation to employing over 30 local staff and operating 25 pieces on plant.

In 2000, Steve Bell Earthmoving diversified its activities with the purchase of Mansfield Pre Mix Concrete. This included several quarry sites and changed its trading name to Mansfield Constructions.

During the next seven years Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd continued to expand its quarrying and mobile crushing divisions and in 2007 made the bold decision to sell the civil contracting and the concrete divisions and focus future activities on quarrying, sale of quarry materials and contract mobile crushing and screening, including processing of hard and green waste.

In 2007, over 5 million dollars was spent on the acquisition of additional mobile plant, enabling the company to continue expanding and undertake a more diversified range of contract crushing works.

Mansfield Constructions sold the Mansfield quarries in 2013 to E B Mawson & Sons which saw the primary focus turn further towards mobile contract crushing and dry hire. Mansfield Constructions also operates an earthmoving and quarry support division.
In 2014, Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd changed their trading name to Mansfield Crushing to better represent the company’s primary focus.

Mansfield Crushing Pty Ltd now operates four mobile crushing and screening crews as well as the earthmoving division. Mansfield Crushing has an extensive list of earthmoving equipment and crushing & screening plant, enabling it to provide a wide range of services and produce a diverse range of quarry materials, including Gravels, Sands, Aggregates and many more.

This equipment will be a valuable tool used to enhance the practical skills and knowledge of apprentice diesel mechanics completing their training at GOTAFE. This equipment will give our apprentices the opportunity to get hands on experience while complete a variety of practical tasks on a modern Caterpillar diesel engine. From the time the engine arrived at our workshop it has been put to good use with our apprentices given the task of designing and building a suitable engine stand and setting it up as a training engine in line with the practical task requirements of their training package.

Click here to learn more about GOTAFE’s Automotive programs.

More than 70 GOTAFE apprentices employed at BF Panels

Since the early 80’s, B.F. Panels, one of the largest workshops in the Albury region have employed more than 70 GOTAFE apprentices. Recently, Mark Capito scored a Panel Beating apprenticeship with the family owned company.

Production Manager Reg Corbitt said every year he approaches GOTAFE Commercial Manager for Automotive Mark Ward for potential apprentices.

“Each year we employ an apprentice panel beater and spray painter, most of them have been through GOTAFE,” said Reg.

“So since the 80’s that means we have employed at least GOTAFE 70 apprentices, that’s a lot of young people who have been given a start by us.

“We have always had a good relationship with GOTAFE, in particular Mark Ward who is respected by industry and the apprentices and his background trade is spray paint so has industry experience, a good reputation with in the industry and always backs the apprentices he recommends.

“We have recently put on Mark Capito, who completed his Cert II Paint & panel pre-apprentice training in Wodonga at the Wodonga Secondary College and came recommended by Mark.
“Its early days but he is doing well, he is very enthusiastic, he has the right attitude, work ethic and is eager to learn.

“In one week alone we can have at least 50 cars put through the repair process, so for our 30 odd employees and especially our apprentices like Mark they get to work on a large variety of repairs each creating their own challenges and learnings.

“We have a points base pay system where our workshop staff have the opportunity to do more hours to earn more points, so the harder they work the better their opportunity to earn more money on top of their base salary, of course it’s all depended on output.

“I think Mark will do well on this system as he is already showing some good skills and the right aptitude to problem solving.”

Mark was almost a qualified carpenter before he made the switch to a Panel Beating apprenticeship and he is glad he did.

“I am currently a first year apprentice, employed by B.F. Panels,” said Mark.

“I completed a pre-apprenticeship with GOTAFE to see if I liked the automotive trade and from that Mark put my name forward to B.F. Panels when they were looking for an apprentice.

“B.F Panels were really welcoming when I first started, there are really good people here, it’s a good, safe environment to work in.

“It’s a family run business which is what I like and they make it work well, with Mark a spray painter by trade and Scott a panel beater.

“They trust you to do a good, quality job and work out the problem yourself but there is always someone I can ask, they have people on the lookout for you to make sure you do the job right and that is great to have that support and backup.

“It’s a big business and there are new cars in every day, so I am always working on something new and presented with a new problem to solve everyday.

“They also use water based spray paint which is better for the environment and better for those that use it so that was important to me.”

Mark works full-time and completes one week block training at GOTAFE, a total of seven during the year.

Completing a pre-apprenticeship like Mark, gives students essential trade skills so that if they land themselves an apprenticeship they already have good basic knowledge of the trade, it also gives the students a good opportunity to see if that’s what they want to do as a career.

GOTAFE is now offering mid year intake for paint and panel out of Wodonga Secondary College and also at its Wangaratta Campus. Contact us to learn more.

Joining the Furniture Making business

At just 19, Tammy Camilleri has almost completed her Certificate II in Furniture Making (MSF20313) at GOTAFE’s Seymour Campus.

Tammy completed highschool in 2015 at Whittlesea Secondary College in Northern Melbourne then commenced Furniture Design at RMIT University.  After six months, Tammy learned that the university course wasn’t designed for school leavers and decided to make the change to vocational education.  A friend suggested the GOTAFE Furniture Design course at the Seymour campus and Tammy took the opportunity to enrol in late 2016.

Living between Glenroy in Melbourne and Clonbinane, Tammy commutes to Seymour several times a week to finish off her course, which she describes “as a perfect fit for her.”

So far to date Tammy has completed an ornate chopping block, coffee table, blanket box, side table and a hallway table and has plenty of ideas for future projects to complete. She has also been asked on numerous occasions to make furniture for friends and family, however the lack of access to a workshop has limited the completion of these additional projects.

“I’m currently looking for an apprenticeship.  There appears to be many in cabinet making, but furniture making is what I want to do,” said Tammy.  Her father was a cabinet maker for more than 25 years, mainly with white box and kitchens, however had a real talent for solid timber so he completed special jobs. He always made things at home and Tammy would join in to help which helped her find her passion with furniture making.

Tammy has loved the course and Rob Freeman her teacher, has been incredibly supportive and allowed Tammy to be more creative with projects than the outlined design. “Tammy has been a wonderful student and very creative, she asks to make tweaks to traditional design and creates beautiful and interesting furniture with meticulous care,” said Rob.

Tammy is currently looking for an apprenticeship and would love to see more women in the industry.

Looking to start a career in Furniture Making? Why not enrol in this entry-level certificate to get you started just like Tammy.  Mid year enrolments are now open.

Go Places with GOTAFE.

GOTAFE Auto Training Wodonga Open Day

From February 2017 GOTAFE will be offering training in automotive courses from our Wodonga training centre.  This includes:

  • Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Motorcycle Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology
  • Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Agriculture Mechanical Technology
  • Certificate III in Outdoor Power Equipment Technology

We encourage business owners and managers to attend our upcoming open day to enable you to make a fully informed choice about your apprenticeship training.  On the day you will be able to meet our trainers and check out our state-of-the-art training facility. Open day details:

Date: Wednesday 25 January, 2017
Time: 12 – 6pm
Location: Motorsports Training Australia – Logic Centre 45 Albertson Road, Barnawartha North

Please book your place for a tour by contacting Mark Ward via 1300 GOTAFE (468 233).

Mum of two ‘sparky’ beats the odds

Like many mums, Tracey Milthorpe decided to re-enter the workforce when her two children were both at school. However, Tracey didn’t consider the ‘usual’ return work occupations, choosing instead to commence her career in a male dominated industry.

She enrolled in an electrical pre-apprenticeship at GOTAFE to get a taste of the electrical industry and make sure that it was the profession she wanted to commit to. Tracey is now a third year electrical apprentice, currently completing Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811).

“I decided to start my electrical apprenticeship as I wanted to do a trade that would keep my mind occupied, I also wanted to do something that wasn’t too physically demanding but still had a moderate physical labour aspect, I like to get my hands dirty, so to speak,” said Tracey.

“I really enjoy it and my family and friends are very supportive.

“My family love the idea that I’m a ‘sparky’ and that I’m doing something against the odds.

“The Trainers are very knowledgeable and supportive and the facilities are great.

“GOTAFE is where I felt I was most comfortable and where I felt I could complete my studies to the best of my ability.”

Tracey believes you have to keep an open mind when working in a male dominated industry.

“I get a few people who look at me twice as I am female, but generally people think it’s great that I’m out there having a go,” she said.

“I’m not there to step on anyone’s feet.  I just want to learn as much as I can.”

For other girls who are looking at entering a Technical Trade, she says ‘go for it’ or if you are unsure, do a bit more research before you decide to commit.

“Talk to people, talk to me,” she said.

“There are pre-apprenticeships and other studies available, they give you a taste of the various industries out there.

“Honestly, you will never know until you try it”.

GOTAFE Student Named Apprentice of the Year

The Apprenticeship Factory held its annual Apprentice of the Year awards event last night at the GV Hotel, Shepparton. GOTAFE Apprentice Kain Loveday was announced as the 2016 Barry Franklin Apprentice of the Year.

Fourth year Electrical Apprentice Kain Loveday studies at the GOTAFE Wangaratta Campus and is employed by Roy Lopez Electrical in Alexandra.

Described as a highly valued student, The Apprenticeship Factory have been impressed with his attitude towards his work.

“He is prepared to work long hours and is willing to assist his employer in any way he can.”

Having now completed his A grade exams, Kain would like to complete a Diploma in Electrical Engineering.

With over 8 categories of awards presented and 24 Apprentice’s vying for the major award, the event showcased the achievements of Apprentices from across the region.

GOTAFE is proud to sponsor this event and congratulates all involved.

Lady Tradies | Katherine Sellick

Looking for different opportunities and reliable consistency in the workplace is what inspired Katherine Sellick to go down the path of a Technical Trade career.

“I have had a good response from most people since taking up study this year towards a Certificate III in Plumbing and my family and friends have been really supportive.” Read more…

Lady Tradies – Tracey Milthorpe

Tracey first began with a pre-apprenticeship course at Gotafe to see if the Electrical Industry was what she wanted to commit to and with her two children both in school, it was a little easier for her to start full time work.

“I decided to start my apprenticeship as I wanted to do a trade that would keep my mind occupied and something that wasn’t too physically demanding but still had a moderate physical labour aspect and I like to get my hands dirty, so to speak.”

“I really enjoy it and my family and friends are so very supportive.  They love the idea that I’m a ‘sparky’ and that I’m doing something against the odds.”

Tracey Milthorpe is in her third year of study towards a Certificate III in Electrotechnology.

Having completed her Certificate II with Gotafe, it made sense to continue on from there.

“The teachers are very knowledgeable and supportive and the facilities are great.  Gotafe is where I felt I was most comfortable and I could complete my studies to the best of my ability.”

Tracey believes you have to keep an open mind when working in a male industry.

“I get a few people who look twice as I am female, but generally people think it’s great that I’m out there having a go.  I’m not there to step on anyone’s feet.  I just want to learn as much as I can.”

For other girls who are looking at entering a Technical Trade, she says ‘go for it’ or if you are unsure, do a bit more research before you decide to commit.

“Talk to people, talk to me. There are pre-apprenticeships and other studies available to give you a taste of the industries.  Honestly, you will never know until you try it.”







Local Apprentices Dominate at Regional MBA Awards

Two GOTAFE Apprentices have taken out the top awards at Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBA) North East Region Awards event held last Tuesday night.
John Mason won the major award for Outstanding Apprentice for the North East Region, while Nicholas Bateman claimed the Employer Nominated Award.
Both students are nearing the completion of their Apprenticeships, with John Mason employed by The Apprenticeship Factory with Christopher Halsall Builders, Euroa as his host employer and Nick Bateman employed by Harper Morphet Builder in Euroa.
GOTAFE Acting Building & Construction Commercial Manager Andrew McGranahan said the GOTAFE is extremely proud of its students and praised MBA for bringing their awards to regional areas.
“Both John and Nick are worthy recipients of these awards. It is good to see country Apprentices recognised at such a well-respected event, as they tend to slip through the cracks because most events are held in metro areas,” explained Mr McGranahan.
GOTAFE Building & Construction Trainer Russell Thorn has taught both students during their Apprenticeships and in fact nominated John for his outstanding effort.
“Both students have shown they are a step above the rest in terms of their attitude towards the trade.
“John was also recently awarded the GOTAFE Building Apprentice Achievement Award at the annual Trade Awards for his outstanding achievements,” said Mr Thorn.
The MBA Judges described John as ‘honest’, ‘genuine’, ‘passionate’ and ‘dedicated’, words both Mr Thorn and Master Builders’ Careers Manager Jarrod Flanigan whole heartedly agree with.
“John is a credit to himself, his employer and GOTAFE. John’s determination to succeed in his Carpentry Apprenticeship, his willingness to dedicate himself to every facet of building, and his eagerness to learn showed the judges that John has a bright future ahead of him,” said Mr Flanigan.
Mr Flanigan was equally impressed with Nick Bateman. The former Cabinetmaker turned Carpenter believes changing careers was the best thing he has done and is held in high regard by his employer.
“Nick’s experience in Cabinetmaking means that he has an eye for detail and his work is of high quality; he sets quality standards for himself with customer satisfaction in mind.
“Truly worthy of his nomination, Nick is an outstanding Apprentice with a bright future in the building industry,” said Mr Flanigan.
Mr Thorn reiterated Mr Flanigan’s remarks and explained what a difference the right attitude can make on the success of an Apprentice.
“Nick is a mature aged Apprentice with over 15 years’ experience under his belt. The younger students look up to him and respect his opinion so tend to go to him with questions and advice about their work. He has become a mentor and part trainer,” Mr Thorn explained.
Both students are now in the running for the state wide awards that will be announced later in the year.
The MBA Regional Awards are being held across Victoria until May.
GOTAFE offers Apprenticeships in a range of industries including Cabinet Making, Carpentry & Joinery, Engineering, Automotive, Electrical, Plumbing, Commercial Cookery, Baking and Hairdressing. More information can be found at or call 1300 GOTAFE (468 233).