Brisbane Broncos Under 20's squad member Jai Arrow may be in training to become an NRL star, but his apprenticeship off the field is also top priority.
The Australian Junior Kangaroos Representative is in the third year of a plumbing apprenticeship with All Trades Queensland and is working with host employer Ken Sheffield, a Gold Coast based plumber.
Jai commenced his apprenticeship after leaving school in 2013 and now works full-time while also undergoing three days of training per week.
While Jai hopes to one day play State of Origin, for now he says his construction career comes first.
“It’s always been my dream to be a professional footballer and I have a great opportunity to do that at the Broncos.
“But the club also has a really strong emphasis on developing a career away from football.
“They stress to us that only a small number of players become regular first graders and a serious injury can bring your career to an end.
“It’s great advice and I think all young footballers should put just as much effort into their career as they do into their training.
Jai said while his work as an apprentice kept him busy, it complemented his football.
“You have your difficult times out on a construction site as you do in football.
“When you are digging holes out in the sun it can be tough, but you’ve just got to do it.
“It’s no different to being out on the field when you’re tired and you just have to keep doing your job.
“Working also helps to take your mind off footy. It’s good have hobbies and other things that you enjoy in your life,” he said.
recently entered a partnership with CSQ.
The initiative will see the club working closely with the industry’s peak body for skilling and training to help young players at the club to find pathways into the construction industry.
CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said there were many parallels between rugby league and working in building and construction.
“As an industry body we are interested in attracting young workers with the right attitude and skills to contribute.
“Construction requires strong focus, discipline and a great work ethic which many Rugby League players possess.
“Rugby League players also understand the value of teamwork which is vital to the success of any construction project.
“We encourage any footballers out there looking for a career to consider building and construction.
Those interested in working in building and construction can visit www.csq.org.au
for information on a variety of careers in the industry.
WATCH JAI'S VIDEO