NEW APPRENTICE: Zac Smith at Costa Blueberries
NEW APPRENTICE: Zac Smith at Costa Blueberries

Age no barrier to new apprentice

AT 54 years of age, Dave (Zac) Smith is proof you're never too old to learn something new.

Zac, who works in the maintenance workshop at Costa's Corindi farm, has just started his apprenticeship as a light vehicle mechanic, doing one day a week at TAFE.

"I came to Costa after the business I worked for closed down and I thought I'd be picking blueberries, but I ended up in the workshop which was perfect," Zac said.

Zac started his first trade in 1979 as a spray painter and has worked in a number of industries since, including furniture building and heavy vehicle salvage.

"I have always played around with cars and motorbikes and working in the spray painting trade you pick up skills along the way," he said.

"But with modern technology there's a lot of diagnostics that you need to know. When I did my Personal Development Plan I said I was keen to do more training and then I was offered this apprenticeship.

"It has been a bit of a challenge, but it's good because I can pass on my knowledge to some of the younger students and I am definitely learning new things.

"I always remember someone telling me - 'it's no burden to carry knowledge around with you'."

Zac said working at Costa was a welcome change from working in heavy salvage, where he was called out in all weather, day and night, following truck crashes or breakdowns.

"It's great having a set time to work and I really like the comradery of the team in the workshop. I also like working with people from other nationalities."