Caitlin Sukroo is one of Komatsu Australia's most recently qualified tradespeople, having completed her auto-electrical training in December last year after going through the company's Apprentice Development System (ADS) since the beginning of 2012.
Caitlin went straight into her apprenticeship with Komatsu's Mackay branch after completing Grade 12 at a local high school in 2011."During my time at school I did work experience with a small auto electrical business and just loved it, so I knew that's what I wanted to do," she said.
"I applied online for an apprenticeship with Komatsu, sent in my resume, then had an interview, passed my aptitude test and drug test, and was offered an apprenticeship.
"Almost straight away, I had to go to Brisbane for a four week block at TAFE, getting my white card and learning basic tool handling. For me it was a big step going out of school in Mackay then going to a big city and having to sit with a room full of strangers," said Caitlin.
"Daniel Stegman, our apprentice co-ordinator in Brisbane was always helpful with our training requirements, and he's also been a really good mentor."
Having qualified, she is now working at the Mackay branch, across all types and sizes of equipment.
"I love working for Komatsu; it's got a good name and it's a great brand.
"The people are great to work with; in Mackay we have some really good supervisors, like Darcy Dougan, who's a fantastic supervisor. And the other fitters and tradies are all really good to work with, all very supportive.
"During my apprenticeship, Komatsu also ensured I made the most of my opportunities," Caitlin said.
"For example, I was able to do some work experience in a local automotive garage, which gave me a lot of exposure to a couple of additional competencies I needed to complete for TAFE."
Caitlin is keen to stay with Komatsu for the long term; currently there is plenty of work for her and the other tradesmen in Mackay, but if she got the opportunity for additional experience elsewhere she would take it.
"I'd really like to do more field service work and diagnostics, and I'd also like to get dual qualifications as a high voltage electrician."
While she enjoys working across a range of equipment, she particularly likes working on large mining trucks, and rebuild work.
"I like working on the trucks, because they are forever upgrading them with new systems, so there's lots to learn about.
"I also like the rebuild work, which can be on anything from loaders to dozers or diggers.
"At the moment, I'm involved in some rebuilds in the workshop on 930E-2 trucks, which is the first time I've had experience on these models.
"This is a really interesting project, as these trucks are also the first in Australia to get 930E-4 modifications on their drive systems," she said.
"We've got a few of these coming up, and I'm learning a lot from them. So far we've done three, and we're now on the fourth one, with more coming up.
"The rebuild work is great, you can see something through from start to finish; they come in looking pretty rough, and go out the door in good working order," she said.