Posted on 13/02/19 in
A recent HSC graduate from Illawarra has kick-started his dream career as a surfboard shaper after completing the first year of his apprenticeship while still at school.
18-year-old Darcy DeClouett is a member of the Talented Surfing Program (TSP) at Illawarra Sports High School, and says he feels “really lucky” to have been able to pursue his passion while still studying.
During Years 11 and 12, Darcy was able to gain practical skills in the surfboard-making industry one day a week at his workplace, DP Surfboards in Ulladulla, when the business’ owner agreed to take him on as an apprentice surfboard shaper.
Simultaneously, he completed the theory component of his qualification online through GoTAFE while also undertaking his senior school studies.
Darcy is one of only a handful of people to engage in the pilot TSP to make surfboard manufacturing a trade, and is also the first ever student at ISHS to complete the trade as a school-based apprentice.
After graduating last month, Darcy will now be able to jump into the second year of his marine composites trade straight out of school, with guaranteed employment until his course is completed.
“I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for the Talented Surfer Program I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he told The Illawarra Mercury.
“The program’s flexibility and freedom is ideal for me. We get educational support and are still able to compete and travel.”
“We’ve also been able to surf while at school and our school work hasn’t suffered.”
Darcy says the flexibility of his school-based apprenticeship also played a big part in him committing to staying at school until the end of Year 12.
“I’m not the most keen student, but this program has definitely helped me a lot to actually make it through school and finish my HSC,” he said.
Darcy will start the second year of his apprenticeship in 2019.