Kick­start gives youth a taste of a trade ca­reer

The Advertiser - Careers - - Hospitality, Travel & Tourism - STEVE RICE

SCHOOL-LEAVER Clin­ton Ben­nell al­ways wanted to work as a trades­man. Af­ter leav­ing school and tak­ing a gap year, how­ever, he felt un­mo­ti­vated and un­sure about how to get into the in­dus­try un­til he signed up to the Ap­pren­tice Kick­start Pre-Ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gram in March.

The state and fed­eral gov­ern­ment pro­gram is help­ing more than 500 young work­ers across the state and boost­ing their chances of se­cur­ing an ap­pren­tice­ship.

Mr Ben­nell, 19, com­pleted an eight-week pre-ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gram through AWC Train­ing, which cov­ers em­ploy­a­bil­ity skills, man­ual dex­ter­ity and work safety at a con­struc­tion site at Da­voren Park.

Mr Ben­nell ex­celled and se­cured an ap­pren­tice­ship af­ter a week’s work ex­pe­ri­ence at Gepps Cross mo­tor me­chanic busi­ness All Wheel Drive.

‘‘(The pro­gram) helped me a lot and showed me things like how to act in a work­place, to have a good attitude and show up early,’’ he says.

‘‘It taught us safety and aware­ness on job sites.’’

AWC Train­ing men­tor and em­ployer bro­ker Trevor Evans says Mr Ben­nell has proved an as­set dur­ing work ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘Clin­ton showed a lot of ini­tia­tive, he had a re­ally good work ethic and took it upon him­self to al­ways keep him­self busy at work. I wish ev­ery­one was like Clin­ton,’’ Mr Evans says.

Mr Ben­nell, who works as a firstyear light ve­hi­cle ap­pren­tice me­chanic, is al­ready mak­ing plans to work in the min­ing sec­tor af­ter his train­ing and one day hopes to es­tab­lish his own me­chanic busi­ness.

‘‘Kick­start got me con­tacts, got my foot in the door. I wouldn’t have gone out and done it my­self. I wouldn’t have thought it was pos­si­ble,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m re­ally happy. It’s given me a ca­reer and a fu­ture. It gave me knowl­edge and skills and boosted my con­fi­dence a lot.

‘‘I’ve come here with a bit more knowl­edge, which made me feel a lot more com­fort­able.’’

Depart­ment of Fur­ther Ed­u­ca­tion, Em­ploy­ment, Science and Tech­nol­ogy chief ex­ec­u­tive Ray­mond Garrand says five South Aus­tralian train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions are de­liv­er­ing pre-ap­pren­tice­ship train­ing through the sec­ond phase of the Kick­start pro­gram.

Mr Garrand says the train­ing providers are shar­ing al­most $ 980,000 to de­liver 14 preap­pren­tice­ship train­ing cour­ses to 179 par­tic­i­pants and help them gain the nec­es­sary skills be­fore an ap­pren­tice­ship.

‘‘The ini­tia­tive aims to in­crease the num­ber of in­dige­nous peo­ple and peo­ple aged 19 years and un­der who are bet­ter pre­pared to take up ap­pren­tice­ships in the trades,’’ Mr Garrand says.

‘‘This pro­ject is a real op­por­tu­nity for school leavers to get a head-start to a trades ca­reer.’’

Mr Garrand says the pro­gram has been suc­cess­ful, with 108 par­tic­i­pants gain­ing ap­pren­tice­ships in trade oc­cu­pa­tions.

‘‘We’ve also com­mit­ted to modernising and re­new­ing our vo­ca­tional train­ing sec­tor with the re­lease of our 10-point Skills for All re­form pro­gram to en­sure South Aus­tralians have the skills for fu­ture growth in ex­ist­ing, new and emerg­ing in­dus­tries.’’

He says train­ing will fin­ish in De­cem­ber, 2011, and is on tar­get to de­liver at least 250 ap­pren­tice­ships and 578 com­mence­ments.

Pic­ture: Camp­bell Brodie

Clin­ton Ben­nell’s work ethic se­cured him an ap­pren­tice­ship.

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