Mitchell Cummins – Certificate III in Engineering, Metal Fabrication.


In January 2016, Mitchell Cummins a young Arabana and Dieri man who grew up in the small town of Leigh Creek in the states Far North will commence the final year of his apprenticeship. With only a few modules left to complete his Certificate III in Engineering – Metal Fabrication Mitchell will soon be a qualified tradesman. He has come a long way since leaving Leigh Creek Area School half way through year 12 a few years ago. In pursuit of starting a career in the engineering industry, Mitchell had to relocate to Booleroo Centre where his employer, Kelly Engineering is located. He also had to move away from his parents and family to live independently.


Mitchell recently competed in The 2015 WorldSkills Australia Regional Competition which was held in Port Pirie. After the competition he attended an awards night held at TAFE SA Regency Campus in Adelaide where he received the gold medal for his welding efforts. Kelly Engineering, the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Program (AAP) and his family are proud of what he has achieved and wish him well in The 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition. Mitchell is pictured above wearing his gold medal alongside Kelly Engineering’s Production Manager, Luke Ellery.

“Mitchell’s welding ability is of the highest quality in our production facility that exports agricultural machinery around the globe. A majority of Kelly’s products are delivered to USA and Canada where the quality of workmanship is held in high regard. His tasks range from fabricating, welding, stainless steel work, quality checking and design and due to his experience in the organisation he is now being utilised to mentor our younger apprentices to help teach them trade skills, says Luke Ellery.


Travelling to TafeSA’s Port Pirie Campus for trade school is one of the requirements of his apprenticeship and once Mitchell has completed this component he is willing to continue to build his skill base with further training. A bit of advice from Mitchell is to “keep an open mind and try your hardest to achieve your goals”.


The AAP supports Kelly Engineering and Mitchell, along with a number of employers and Aboriginal apprentices, trainees and school-based apprentices/trainees state-wide with retention incentives and mentoring. AAP mentor Kriston Thompson signed Mitchell up to the AAP back in 2013 and has visited him regularly to track his progress. Mitchell has had a few ups and downs throughout his apprenticeship but has been able to persevere through support made available from the team in the Department of State Development.


For more information regarding WorldSkills Australia see

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