Kyle Linton is now a qualified carpenter, but if things had gone slightly differently, he could have been unclogging toilets or sweating behind an oxy-torch.
“I was a high 90s student at school, but I just couldn’t sit inside. I was fidgety, I hated it, and I always wanted to go outside,” Kyle says. “I couldn’t see myself working in an office, and I didn’t want to stay at school any longer, so a trade was where I wanted to go.”
After researching a few options, Kyle was contemplating being a plumber, a sparky or a boilermaker. “My dad said, ‘don’t be a boilermaker, you’ll be stuck inside a shed all day’,” he says. “He was kind of leaning me toward being a builder. He’s not a chippy himself, but he did want to build a house!” he laughs. “So along those lines, he was kind of pushing me towards it. But I’m glad he did, because I’m really enjoying it.”
While the classroom may have been a torture chamber for Kyle at high school, his academic gifts served him well when it came to seeking his carpentry qualifications.
“I started my pre-apprenticeship when I turned 16, which was three days of TAFE, and then I worked two days on site,” Kyle says. “I did that for a year, which built me up to a second year straight off the bat, after one year. Then I did my third year after that, and then I secured an apprenticeship. So, I’d completed all of my TAFE and got all of my study out of the way before I actually got my apprenticeship.”
Born and bred in Shellharbour, near Wollongong, Kyle decided to move to Sydney after completing his studies. His first choice of employer was actually Virtue Projects, although it didn’t quite happen the way he may have planned.
“They had an advertisement on seek.com, and I was in contact with Mick from Virtue before I moved to Sydney, asking if I could get a job. He said, ‘when you move up here, we’ll sort you out,’ but I secured a job doing commercial work with someone else prior to that,” he says. “So I started with them, and after a year, I got onto Mick and Dave from Virtue, and here I am.”
Kyle is now happily part of the Virtue Projects team, and particularly appreciates the company’s combination of high standards and low-key approach. “Mick and Dave are pretty cruisy going, they are good bosses. They let you do your own show, but they like good quality, and I like to do good work as well,” he says. “They don’t push too hard, but they expect good results, which is fair.”
As for his career choice, Kyle is glad he chose building over the other trades. “I like working with my hands, and being outdoors,” he says. “And I like seeing a finished product. It’s good to see something that you have done, especially when people appreciate it.”