Growing up on a farm on the Mornington Peninsula, it seemed natural for Matt de Groot to complete an apprenticeship when he finished VCE. But Matt hadn’t always dreamed of taking this pathway. 

Matt dreamed of joining the police force. However, several police members advised him to complete a trade or gain another qualification first. That way, if he decided the police force wasn’t for him, he’d have a career back up.

Matt took their advice and completed a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Automotive Technology at Chisholm Institute, Dandenong.

“When I went down the mechanical pathway, I enjoyed it so much, it didn’t feel like ‘work’,” he said.

“I found the light vehicle industry a bit repetitive. Given my childhood on the farm, I was interested in bigger equipment. 

“An opportunity came up at Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA). I was successful in securing a field service position which paved the way for me to complete another Certificate,” he said.

“I’m completing a Certificate III in Heavy Vehicle: Mobile Plant at Chisholm, Dandenong. This increases my technician level at TMHA and I will hopefully become a team leader. 

“This extra qualification will help in my current job and open doors in the future,” said Matt.

While nearing the completion of his apprenticeship, Matt was nominated for Apprentice of the Year, and received the Bill Norling award at the Chisholm Institute Awards.

As his career continues to progress, Matt is grateful he took this pathway.

“I love being part of the field service team. I get to work on a variety of material handling equipment, meet new people and challenge myself everyday.”

Matt’s advice to others starting their career? 

“I honestly believe I got to where I am, by just being myself and having a real go,” he said.