Apprentice of the Year Jack, Racing to New Heights

Having the opportunity to work up close with Supercars is something that a lot of people dream about, but few achieve. However, Jack Goodrich the 2018 MTA Queensland Apprentice of the Year has added this to his experience. 

Thanks to MTA Queensland’s corporate partner MTAA Super and their connection to Triple Eight Race Engineering, Jack was awarded this amazing opportunity as part of his 2018 Apprentice of the Year win. The prize included a money-cannot-buy, two-weeks work experience in the garage of Triple Eight Race Engineering and in the pits at the Ipswich SuperSprint on the weekend of 26-28 July.

It’s an opportunity that Jack certainly isn’t taking for granted.

“It means everything,” Jack said. “This is something that people all over Australia dream of and I feel very privileged to be here. I’ve had the opportunity to ask plenty of questions and do some technical tasks. It’s one of those things where I want to lap-up everything because it’s something that I might never be able to do again. Just to see the workshop and the cars is pretty incredible and it means a lot. I’m very thankful to everyone involved in giving me this experience.”

And it’s an experience that a few short years ago Jack probably wouldn’t have envisioned for himself.

Jack’s pathway to the automotive industry was fairly unorthodox and prior to entering the motor trades, he had graduated from a Bachelor of Science and Arts with his final year of study spent completing an honours degree in a stem cell research laboratory at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland. Whilst he had every intention of completing the PhD, he felt the career didn’t suit him. After deciding a trade was much more connected to the life he had envisioned, he started out as a mature-aged apprentice in the regional town of Goondiwindi and has since moved on to Glen Aplin Autos, outside of Stanthorpe as a qualified light vehicle mechanic.

It’s therefore safe to say that the workshop at Triple Eight Race Engineering is worlds away from the regional, family-run businesses he’s accustomed to.

“Triple Eight Race Engineering is very different to my normal day-to-day working life. For one thing, it’s a lot cleaner!” he laughed. “The facilities are amazing, and although it’s automotive, it feels like a different industry. Some of the guys here have never worked on road cars before, they’ve always been about racing – which is pretty incredible.”

“When I told my colleagues what I was doing, they were somewhere between astounded and impressed. They know how valuable this amazing experience is, even if it is just work experience, as you learn so many new things. I’m very thankful to my bosses at Glen Alpin Autos, Orazio and Lissa for supporting me doing this.”

The accolades brought on from his outstanding work as an MTA Institute apprentice are yet to slow down for Jack. In addition to being named the Apprentice of the Year, MTA Queensland also nominated him for the Queensland Training Awards Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year, and Jack was one of the finalists for the Darling Downs region. The award, which recognises outstanding VET students from across Queensland, is one which MTA Queensland felt Jack was well-deserving of.

“It means a hell of a lot,” Jack said. “It would never be something I would nominate for myself but I guess it recognises that I’ve tried to do my best, so it certainly means a lot. It was a real honour to be up against other current or recently qualified apprentices that are outstanding in their field.”

Although very humble, Jack has and will undoubtably continue to excel in whatever he decides to do and perhaps after his experience at Triple Eight Race Engineering, we’ll see him venture into motorsport.

“I’d love to work in this industry. It’s something I’ve never been exposed to before but for me, it’s definitely the most challenging and interesting automotive sector there is,” Jack said. “When you get to work in a place like this, it puts the whole industry into perspective. I guess the sky’s the limit if I really put myself out there, and I’m going to have to think about where I want to go in the future and make sure I’m not wasting the opportunity I’ve been given here, because it really is precious.”