Kickstart gives youth a taste of a trade career
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.
Clinton Bennell’s work ethic secured him an apprenticeship.