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Loughlin's journey from apprentice to tradesman

Posted Wednesday 14th June 2017

Loughlin Murphy’s journey to becoming a qualified carpenter began with a small opportunity to do two days of labouring work for a local builder, Cliff Curtain. After a full day of shifting crusher dust, Loughlin’s hands were covered in blisters. Cliff wasn’t sure whether he’d turn up the next morning, but sure enough, Loughlin arrived. He fixed up his hands and continued working, showing Cliff he had what it took to succeed as an apprentice.

Since then, Loughlin has spent years working and learning alongside Cliff, completing his carpentry apprenticeship and earning the chance to work independently. Looking back on his apprenticeship, Loughlin is grateful for the experience and the skills he developed.

“I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence while completing my apprenticeship,” Loughlin said.

“One of my favourite jobs was a carport at Ashgrove where we built the whole roof. It was just a carport, but we usually get the trusses pre-made. Cutting out all the rafters, marking it out and setting it all up myself was pretty cool.”

Loughlin said doing an apprenticeship was a great alternative to university, as some people didn’t want to go back to school after finishing 12 years of it. He said the biggest difference between school and the work site was the level of responsibility he had.

“It’s not all set out, you need to work some things out for yourself. You need to be a lot more responsible, especially when using power tools or being off the ground. It’s about being aware of what you’re doing and what the risks are.”

Carpentry has also helped Loughlin outside the work site, as after making the Australian Ultimate Frisbee team he was able to use his skills to construct coffee tables for fundraising. Loughlin was quick to point out that completing his apprenticeship did not mean he had finished learning. He said he was looking forward to becoming more comfortable and confident in his work, but understood more would be expected of him in his first year as a tradesman.

“This could be the hardest year yet.” 

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