From butcher to plumber: Student loving the transition | Wollondilly Advertiser

Charles Walters likes to be outside and in the sun.

So he decided to make the transition from a career in butchery to a plumber.

“While I keep a hand in the butcher’s game through some weekend work, after more than 20 years of working indoors, I love working as an apprentice plumber in the great outdoors,” said Mr. Walters.

The student with Certificate III Plumbing must complete three years of education at TAFE NSW Goulburn and spend two years completing his license.

The 37-year-old, who started the course last October, said he was looking forward to the benefits of having more than one qualification.

“It was a bit of a challenge to change careers, but for me the benefits of getting another qualification outweighed the risk,” he said.

“This means I have more job choices in relation to the type of work I do and where I do it.”

He is fortunate to be taught by former Australian WorldSkills champion Andrew Whalan.

“Every day I learn something new in the plumbing industry, both on the job and at TAFE, where my teachers share their industry experience,” said Mr. Walters.

“With their help, I sharpen my practical skills for the full range of plumbing, from civil to domestic. This means I’m better prepared for any scenario I encounter on a job site.”

Mr Whalan said his students are “learning hands-on skills in the latest plumbing techniques, from sheet metal and flash work to welding, sanitation and irrigation”.

“The plumber is a profession that involves more than one thinks and it offers a lot of variety.”

Mr. Walters puts a 22-year butchery career aside to embark on this new journey in his life.

For more information about learning a trade or changing careers, visit or call 13.16.01.

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