As Australia celebrates National Skills Week, we will share three stories of young people who started their first job at SYC, gaining qualifications, skills and experience that has allowed them to pursue independence in their lives.

SYC has a history of being a young person’s first employer, and providing traineeships in different areas of the organisation.  Adam Smith undertook two weeks of work experience as a Year 10 student in 2000, at SYC’s registered training facility. Even at this young age, Adam knew that Information Technology (IT) was the sector that he wanted to work in. During work experience Adam had various opportunities including resolving IT problems for employees, repairing computers and this experience confirmed to him he had made the right decision for his future.

In 2001, with a growing employment services division and foreseen growth of the training division, SYC created a position as IT Trainee. At the age of 15, Adam was invited to apply, which he did and was successful in gaining the position.

“I knew that IT was what I wanted to do, so I went for it,” Adam said.

At the encouragement of the then General Manager of SYC’s training division, now SYC’s CEO, Paul Edginton, Adam entered into the World Skills Competition. This takes a regional, state and national approach to testing and comparing the skills and knowledge of Australian apprentices. In 2002, Adam won gold medals in both the regional and South Australian competition, allowing him to compete in the national competition.

“It was a great experience and it allowed me to see that I had a talent for the sector I worked in,” Adam said.

Adam was offered a permanent full-time position in the small SYC IT Team of three, managed by Rick Watson, who was a mentor for Adam.

“I looked forward to coming to work, I enjoyed what I did and I liked the people I worked with,” Adam said.

Due to the growth of SYC, Adam also had opportunities to grow his skills and responsibilities to become a Microsoft Certified professional. His job responsibility grew from being an IT Support Officer, to become a Systems and Network Administer, then IT Team Leader and also as Acting IT Manager, all by the time he was 25 years old.

Adam was referred to as “Young Adam” around SYC, as an acknowledgement that he had achieved a great deal at a young age.

In 2014, due to SYC’s expanding national footprint, its IT function was externalised. The period represented significant change for Adam. Adam moved to work with SYC’s technology partner Datacom as a WinTel Engineer, to provide support in Microsoft Window’s environment, which today encompasses many thousands of programs and applications.

Working for Datacom was Adam’s second job, after working for SYC for 13 years. This was a big step for Adam, yet his trajectory to senior team roles shows that he understands the technically aspects of his profession very well. While he works with many of Datacom’s client base, SYC is still a client account that Adam regularly supports, maintaining a connection with his first employer and SYC’s work.