From work experience student to skilled landscaper, there's no stopping APG North team member Caleb Johnston from pursuing his passion.
Even before looking for work experience in his final year of school, 18-year-old Caleb knew exactly what career path he wanted to follow.
And it definitely didn’t involve working in an office.
“I love building stuff - I’ve built many things, like fences for my parents, and I wanted to get more skills in that area,” he said.
“I liked the idea of hands-on work and being outside. I can’t imagine working in an office.
"When my school suggested work experience in landscaping, I thought sure, I’ll give it a go."
Caleb began work experience at Bedford’s landscaping and garden maintenance division, Adelaide Property and Gardens (APG), in February this year and officially joined the team in July.
Based at the APG North depot in Edinburgh, Caleb now works five days a week completing projects like reserve landscaping and both residential and commercial garden maintenance around the community.
“Working on the irrigation, mulching, and lawns for local reserves are some of my favourite jobs,” he said.
“I also like working on residential projects which involve working on front lawns, verges, and planting. I do a lot of work on the Wacker, which I use to flatten out soil and rubble.”
As excited as he was to start his first job, the transition into work was an adjustment for Caleb.
“I had to get used to a new schedule, and putting a new daily routine in place was a bit of a struggle to start with,” he said.
“I learnt very quickly that getting everything ready the night before would help me stay organised!”
APG North Operations Manager Hamish Small said Caleb has firmly cemented his position in the team.
“Caleb’s confidence is growing each week - everywhere he goes, the sun follows. He arrives early each morning and walks in with a huge smile on his face,” he said.
Caleb’s drive and passion for all things construction has seen him gain multiple qualifications including a Certificate II in Construction Pathways, Work Zone Traffic Management, his forklift licence, and first aid training.
Hamish said he is impressed by Caleb’s hunger for knowledge.
“Nothing is going to hold him back…his general attitude to work and life is something that I admire,” he said.
“He has already made steps in becoming an excavator operator, which APG will help him with.”
A motivated goal-setter, Caleb is always looking ahead to his next professional milestones.
“I like building up my skills whenever I can, so once I learn how to operate an excavator, I want to get my truck licence after that,” he said.
For Caleb, seeing a project’s end result is one of the most satisfying parts of the job.
“In the beginning there’s just a dirt patch, and then when you’re finished it’s designed into something really cool. I’m always surprised to think that I actually helped make it,” he said.
“I live in the area, so it’s nice to drive past reserves I’ve worked on every day – I always point them out to my mum.”
And Caleb’s dream career?
“I want to become a supervisor at APG. I feel I have the support to achieve that one day,” he said.
“I love that it’s a calm environment. I don’t like shouting or getting stressed, which makes me feel uncomfortable. But it’s easy-going here and I feel happy coming into work every day.”
Interested in building a career in landscaping or gardening? Learn more about supported employment opportunities with APG by contacting 8275 0211 or firstname.lastname@example.org