Raphael's Interview

Certificate III in Joinery



From France

Certificate III in Joinery

TAFE QLD, Brisbane

From France

Raphael is from France. Before coming to Australia, he spent many years travelling around the world. He lived in Spain and New Zealand. However, he never forgot about his experience in Australia on Working Holiday Visa in 2012, where he explored different parts of the country for two full years. In late 2017 he decided to come back to study joinery.

He has now finished his course and has just had his temporary graduate work visa approved (subclass 485).


What parts of Australia have you seen so far and where did you decide to study?

On my Working Holiday Visa, I decided to travel around Australia as much as possible. I spent time in Victoria and New South Wales, but I mainly resided in Western Australia. For my studies, I decided to come to Brisbane to study at TAFE. I chose a certificate III in joinery.

Where have you lived during your studies?

I lived in several different places during my studies, they were all about a 30-minute car drive away from campus. My course finished in December 2019 but I am still living in Brisbane now because I enjoy it here. Maybe I will consider seeing more of Australia in the future.

How many days do you go to class per week?

For my course, I had to go to class three days per week, from Monday to Wednesday. We had enough time to finish all of our work during this time so luckily we usually never had any homework assignments and I also did not have to do much home studying. This gave me a lot of time to do other things on the other days of the week.

Did you have to buy extra materials?

Not really. We had to buy a couple of things, they were all inexpensive: a tape measure, a 15 centimeter roller. Just little things we needed for the job.

Did you do a vocational placement? If so, where?

I was actually working for a company called ATJ (Architectural Timber Joinery) before I started the joinery course and this is where I also did my vocational placement. I was lucky because they paid me for my placement during my studies. This helped me greatly with getting around financially. My Italian wife also lives with me in Brisbane and she works as well.

How were your teachers?

Besides the occasional fill-in, we actually only had one teacher for the entirety of the course. He was in his mid-thirties and we got along well. I feel like he prepared us very well for the job.

Tell us about your classmates.

I was part of a very small class of only six students. Besides myself, there was a Colombian, an Argentinian, a Brit, and two Brazilians – one boy and one girl. It was a very nice international group. Everyone was in their late twenties, early thirties.

What are your plans now that you have graduated?

I am on the way to get my full skills assessment so I can hopefully go for General Skilled Migration and get my permanent residency. I am definitely looking forward to staying in Australia for a bit longer.

Do you think it is hard to find a job in your industry?

For me it was very easy to find a job. After three or four days of speaking with different people I already had my first job offer. I think all it takes for it to work out is to be proactive and speak to as many people face-to-face as possible.


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