Hey all, I'm getting to the point now where I am getting pretty fed up with my current job and am in need of a change. I currently work as a mechanist in theatre - mainly big commercial musicals but also smaller theatrical productions. What that means for those unfamiliar with the industry is that I build, operate and maintain the set and automation componants of a production. Being backstage is by definition pretty thankless work, though that's not really what's bothering me. Being directly involved in big-budget theatre and it's attendant politics and egos is what I'm getting sick of. The job at my level (2IC of the department) also involves regular relocation to move with productions, which no longer includes the financial incentives it once did, making it a pretty unattractive prospect unless you're single and unestablished domestically (it costs upwards of $2000 just to move a house full of furniture from Sydney to Melbourne.) The fact that I am working when everyone else in the world is having weekends or going out is also getting tiresome. My line of work to date involves a lot of varied competency without any particular expertise or qualification. For example, I am reasonably capable at basic carpentry and metalwork, but not to the level of being able to walk into a cabinet or joinery job, and I don't have a welding ticket. I have been operating and maintaining large automated systems involving electric motors, chain and/or belt drives and electronic control systems, but regard myself as an expert in none of it. I have been responsible for rigging hundreds of kilos of truss and scenic pieces above performers' heads but do not have a riggers ticket. You get the idea. The extent of my paper qualifications are my VCE and an Arts degree (Hist/Pol) and a forklift ticket - but even then I am badly out of practise driving forks. I have therefore been considering my options for alternative employment. There are jobs within the industry which may suit my needs, and which I will be looking at, but I am also looking beyond theatre. What I want is a full-time (or equivalent hours/income casual/contract) Monday-Friday type relatively stable job based in metro Sydney. I am happy to travel on a short-term basis, just not interested in relocating. I am more than happy working with my hands, although a series of overloading injuries recently have turned me off particularly heavy jobs for now. Anyway, long story short, and the reason for posting this here, is that I am hunting info and advice on getting into the bike industry. I am not really interested in sales (I don't think I have the BS tolerance for that) I am more inclined to something working with/on bikes. I have been doing minor servicing and mod jobs on my own bike, and I while I love working on the bike it has been with more enthusiasm and experimentation than real knowledge or ability. The obvious route would be to go into an apprenticeship through TAFE - is this the only real path in? The financial consequences of this are a bit problematic - I understand that shifting into an entirely new industry involves starting at the bottom of the food chain again, but I am not sure my partner and I could survive on an apprentice wage (that said I could concievably supplement that with working in theatre at night/occasionally, but that would require a really flexible/understanding employer) So, if anyone out there has any suggestions, advice or ideas on my situation (or a mechanic out there wants another set of hands???) I would really appreciate any input. Cheers, Rob.