Rob Carr Pty Ltd pipelayer Mark MacDonald recently completed a three-year traineeship for a Certificate III in Civil Construction (Pipe Laying) that he started at age 50, proving that age is no barrier to training success.
Although Mr MacDonald has more than 30 years’ experience in civil construction and United Kingdom qualifications in drainage, this is his first Australian qualification.
“At 53, most would think you are too old to bother to study but I saw it as a challenge,” he said. Mr MacDonald said that the toughest aspect of the training was working around his dyslexia.
“Transferring knowledge onto paper is difficult for me but different learning and training delivery styles are understood and catered for now, so I knew I could do it.”
Training Manager Robert Dando highlighted that Mr MacDonald was a great example to anyone—regardless of age or ability—who was thinking of taking up training to obtain a qualification.
“He was honest and upfront about his learning challenges but never used that as an excuse not to keep up with his training commitments” said Mr Dando. “If anything, he was driving his own learning. I was impressed how motivated he was.”
Project Supervisor Jason Murphy noted that the training achievement had boosted Mr MacDonald’s confidence, which translated into improved work performance.
“The company offers traineeships to all eligible workers and they are encouraged to take every opportunity to get more tickets and training,” Mr Murphy said. “It’s a win/win for everyone.”
Mr MacDonald found that the most rewarding thing about the training was learning new things.
“Completing the traineeship is reward in itself. I’m going to frame this,” he said, referring to his hard earned certificate.
When asked what message he had for other mature-aged workers thinking about taking on training, Mr MacDonald said, “Never too old to learn. When you face a difficult challenge, with motivation and drive you can succeed.”