STATEFINALIST: Qld Apprentice of the Year finalist Dion Schloss is hoping to find a job as an electrician.
STATEFINALIST: Qld Apprentice of the Year finalist Dion Schloss is hoping to find a job as an electrician. Rokadion

Apprentice of the year finalist one day, jobless the next

AT THE flick of a switch, Dion Schloss's week went from an almighty high to an all-time low.

It was meant to be a time of celebration for the Rockhampton father-of-two who made it into the finals of the Queensland Training Awards Apprentice of the Year category this week but on Tuesday Dion was told he no longer had a job.

Dion, 32, said he started his electrical apprenticeship in 2010 with Aurizon to have a more stable future for his family.

"I quit my job as a security guard because I wanted a job I could make a future out of and one that would challenge me," he said.

"I took a mortgage out on the house to start my journey towards being a mature-aged apprentice and it has been the best decision I've made because I love my job. In 2013, I was awarded the Aurizon Electro Technology Apprentice of the Year and the overall Apprentice of the Year for the Rockhampton RSM Workshops which have been big highlights over my apprenticeship, and to be a finalist again is really gratifying.

"It was hard to learn earlier this week that the company couldn't keep me on as a tradesman due to unavailable positions at this time. They committed to training me and they've done that but unfortunately there's no positions available to continue on with them and you just don't expect that outcome sometimes."

Dion said although he was still excited about the outcome of the training awards, he was concerned about the next few months.

"Being told you no longer have a job is financially worrying because I'm in limbo and I still have to make those mortgage repayments," he said.

"Job security is a huge thing at the moment and that's what most people look for but at least I'm walking away with a qualification and I'm capable of working in the industry. It's a nervous time but it's exciting too because it's an opportunity to utilise my skills somewhere else.

"I might be out of the job but I've got the support from my family who have been amazing from start to finish. I've found something that I love and something I'm really good at so I'll continue doing it."



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