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Oasis Program(s):

Meaningful Work

Matt transitioned smoothly to advanced manufacturing

To overcome a shortage of some specific advanced manufacturing skills a program to establish a pathway into the civilian manufacturing sector for veterans transitioning out of the ADF was developed by a number of organisations collaborating in Townsville. The collaboration involved TAFE, the Advanced Manufacturing Hub, and NQ Defence Industry Hub and several companies seeking welders, including several members of the Veterans Business Alliance (VBA).

The program involves a 4 week ‘Introduction to Manufacturing’ course at TAFE Qld, followed by options to gain work experience and/or possible employment at local manufacturing companies in Townsville who are aligned with the values of Veteran Employment.

The Oasis Townsville provided the access and the venue to bring it all together.

Matt Pippin, a former armoured corps troop Sergeant with 17 years service in the Australian Army, completed the fully funded and accredited program, and has now gained full time employment at TEi Services, one of the region’s leading manufacturers and an Oasis Veterans Business Alliance (VBA) Gold member.

Matt was very eager to learn new skills outside of his defence career and all of the collaborators were committed to providing the necessary resources to continue to support his career development. Since completing the Pilot course in 2022, Matt has joined the team at TEi Services on a permanent basis, and has completed welder qualification testing enabling him to weld to recognised international standards. In January 2023 he signed on as an adult apprentice as a Fabricator/Welder, a career move that is fully supported by TEi Services. He also completed training and assessment to attain relevant high risk work licences for forklift operations and working with cranes.

Matt said the program opened his field of view to a whole different career opportunity in manufacturing in Townsville.

"I first heard of the program through a Facebook post by The Oasis Townsville", Matt said. "I attended an information session, where the government departments introduced the program and the objectives, but it was the panel discussion with three local manufacturing companies supporting this initiative that sold it for me. Hearing how local companies recognise the value of employing a veteran and understanding the support some of us require as a result of our service, was the real winner".

Matt said, "the process for applying for and enrolling to the program was very straight forward", and the skills he learnt throughout the training program re-hashed some of the skills he took from his time in the Army and introduced him to new skills such as welding and basic machining.

"The work experience I was provided post-training reinforced to me that a career in fabrication and welding was a pathway I wanted to follow", he said. "When I first imagined this career, I imagined a lot of heavy, manual work but what I found was a good mixture of work, and the right tools and equipment to achieve the desired outcomes. I look forward to formalising my skills with a trade and working with my hands to deliver high quality products that I can be proud to put my name to".


A transitioned soldier who found meaningful work and is respected for his value in the workforce as an ex-serving veteran.

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