Lucas Pilot recently completed his HVAC apprenticeship with Sodexo. Although an outstanding asset to Sodexo’s team in Karratha, his career and personal journey is one of hard work, resilience and perseverance 

After graduating high school, Lucas Pilot left his Cairns family home in the pursuit of employment. His journey took him 4,500 kilometres to Western Australia where he began work as a labourer. 

Lucas’ supervisors recognised his dedication and attention to detail on site, and offered him a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) trades apprenticeship with Sodexo. 

“I didn’t know what HVAC was, but I saw it as an opportunity and took it,” Lucas said. 

Lucas Pilot Four years later, Lucas is a certified tradesman and was even recognised as the 2019 TAFE Apprentice of the Year, but to completing his apprenticeship didn’t come without challenges. 

Lucas found the study to be intensive, having to attend one-month training blocks in Perth. From the outset, the content wasn’t sticking, and weekly exams were a new frontier for Lucas. But failure wasn’t an option, and Lucas put in the hard work and hours to ensure he never missed a class or exam.

In the Torres Strait Islander community, family is central to all aspects of life. Lucas was about to enter an assessment training block when he received some upsetting news from a close family member. Where many would have walked away, Lucas persevered, and used it as motivation to continue with his study. 

This resilience did not go unnoticed. Lucas’ supervisors were in awe of his continued efforts in the face of adversity, noting that many other apprentices would not have had the same courage or determination.

“Nothing that is worth it comes easily,” Lucas said. 

“It is a massive achievement to become a tradie and step into a job I love with Sodexo. I enjoy being able to share my story with people considering trades after school.” 

As a Torres Strait person, Lucas prides himself on giving back to his community and acting as a role model to his family. It’s expected many community members, students and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will choose a trade focused profession as a result of Lucas’ inspiring story and journey. In this way, Lucas is inadvertently creating a positive social and economic impact on the communities he interacts with.

Lucas also regularly gives talks at the local high school to encourage trades pathways and is heavily involved in club rugby. Taking on the opportunities that are available to him through Sodexo, Lucas has already set his next goal to gain his electrician certification to become a dual tradesman. 

“I know it will be a challenge, but I am ready to take it on,” Lucas said. 

With his apprenticeship under his belt, Lucas is equipped for success where he may choose to go.
 

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