Major Training places a lot of importance on its past and present students. Founder Alex Tenkate recalls the proud moment of the company training its 50,000th student in 2013, while general manager Matthew Tenkate believes feedback and demands from students “have helped shape the business into what it is today”.

In celebration of Major’s 20-year milestone, we turn the attention to the ‘Major Heroes’ who have contributed to the company’s success over the years.

As a past student who’s seen professional and personal success from her time with Major, Erica had plenty to share about what it was like training with the business and where it’s taken her today.

What course/s or qualifications did you study with Major Training and why?

Certificate III in Civil Construction – Road Construction & Maintenance

“For the past six years, I have been working in the civil construction industry on a variety of road construction and maintenance projects throughout South East Queensland. As a general labourer, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of different roles across a variety of different projects. Having the practical experience as well as a qualification not only helps to secure my employment but also ensures I have greater job opportunities.”

Certificate IV in Work Health & Safety

“Having already accepted various safety roles within my position, it was time to entertain WHS as another potential employment opportunity. Not only was this course an entry-level requirement for roles within my career scope, it also allowed me to improve in my current role both as a blue-collar worker and a safety representative.”

Enter & Work in Confined Spaces

“I was required to complete this competency for a major city infrastructure project. Not only is this training essential to ensuring my personal safety but also for the safety of my crew and the general public.”

Licence to Perform Dogging

“I acquired this licence as part of the Certificate III in Civil Construction. As part of the assessment from my trainer, it was agreed that this competency would be particularly important in my position as a labourer and has since proven invaluable and secured my position ahead of those without it.”

“Having the practical experience as well as a qualification not only helps to secure my employment but also ensures I have greater job opportunities.”


What are the key things you learnt?

“For me, the most invaluable information you can learn is in regards to safety. Especially having completed high-risk training and certificate qualifications, the main focus is always safety. There are always ways to improve and for me, it gave me a greater understanding of my obligations as an employee – and of course, the obligations of my employer outside the scope of site/task specific safety requirements. I gained a wealth of knowledge and understanding of how to find information I need and how to approach my employer to communicate correct procedures and safety requirements.”


How has this course or qualification helped you personally?

“Completing the Cert III in Civil Construction and Cert 4 in WHS has helped me understand it is possible to gain skills and qualifications without sacrificing my position or career. I had always believed it was too late for me to obtain a nationally certified qualification in the role I was in and that I would not be able to further my career without having to take a step backwards to do so. This is no longer the case. Major provides a training schedule and environment suited to real construction workers working in the real world. I’ve made contacts through training with Major that have helped me long after I completed my qualifications.”

“Major provides a training schedule and environment suited to real construction workers working in the real world.”


How has this course or qualification helped you professionally?

“Unfortunately, being a woman in a male-dominated industry still affects my potential career opportunities. If you listen to those in the industry, you hear both sides of the debate. On one hand, people say it gives me an advantage as I’m a “protected species” and there is a perception that I will have better opportunities than my male co-workers because of the equality movement and the fear of discrimination.”

“I take a great deal of satisfaction from being one of those women whose experience speaks for itself. Not only do I work in the industry doing the same job as the men in my position, I do it well and I have the qualifications that show I’m not just here to take someone else’s job.”

“When opportunities arise to further my career, having these qualifications puts my name at the top of the list before my gender does. As a labourer, when the time comes to start letting people go, having qualifications, skills and high-risk licenses makes me more valuable than the person standing next to me who hasn’t completed any training.”

“Having the piece of paper isn’t everything and Major Training ensures you also have the practical skills and knowledge to support your qualification.”

“When the time comes to start letting people go, having qualifications, skills and high-risk licenses makes me more valuable than the person standing next to me.”


What made you want to train with Major Training?

“Major Training has been a leading training provider since before I entered the construction industry. Because of this, many of my co-workers over the years have trained with and gained qualifications through Major Training.”

“My position required me to obtain an Enter and Work in Confined Spaces ticket with a requirement for the breathing apparatus competency. Major Training ticked all of the boxes for me as they have a facility on the Gold Coast and also offer CSQ-funded courses.”

“Major Training has been a leading training provider since before I entered the construction industry.”


What was your favourite thing about training with Major Training?

“The trainers. I won the trainer lottery when I enrolled in my certificate courses as both my trainers pushed me to complete the competencies and ensured I didn’t get left behind. They both dedicated their time and tailored each course to allow me to complete the competencies required outside of my work commitments.”


Was training with Major Training different to what you were expecting? If yes, how?

“To be completely honest, when I first enquired about the Cert III in Civil Construction, I expected I would have to go back to school (or an environment of the sort). When I spoke to one of the trainers and he said he could meet me on site and go through the course material, I still expected it to be out of my league. However, after seeing what I do and how I work, he assured me I could complete the qualification quite quickly through RPL. Once I gathered the information I needed, he wasted no time in providing units to complete and organising the additional training I required.”


Upskilling is easy with Major when they provide CSQ-funded courses and recognise your RPL competencies,” Erica says. “Yatala has great facilities, a wide variety of courses and great availability. In my circle, Major is considered a staple in construction training. It would be great to see them expand further into SEQ.”


Learn more about the past, present, and future of Major Training in our timeline infographic ‘From Humble Beginnings: Major Training Over The Past 20 Years