Trainees ready for real world

Green thumbs up­skilling

The Observer - - NEWS - Matt Harris matthew.harris@glad­sto­neob­server.com.au

UN­EM­PLOY­MENT is an is­sue that’s been rel­e­gated to the past for Glad­stone En­gi­neer­ing Al­liance trainees.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate for the Fitzroy re­gion, which in­cludes Glad­stone and Rock­hamp­ton, cur­rently sits at 6.7 per cent, but GEA trainees are buck­ing that trend with its 2017 Skilling Queens­lan­ders for Work trainee pro­grams.

The SQW pro­gram fo­cuses on as­sist­ing peo­ple who are un­em­ployed to con­nect into em­ploy­ment and of­fer them a chance to re-skill for a new oc­cu­pa­tion.

The pro­gram has been ex­tremely suc­cess­ful with those find­ing full-time em­ploy­ment sur­pass­ing 80 per cent ac­cord­ing to GEA project and em­ploy­ment co­or­di­na­tor Shana Gelin.

“Our cur­rent SQW Com­mu­nity Work Skills Trainee­ships pro­gram of business, con­struc­tion and con­ser­va­tion and land man­age­ment trainees is go­ing well and we’re con­fi­dent of ob­tain­ing full-time work for most if not all of the trainees,” Ms Gelin said.

“All of the trainees are do­ing a Cer­tifi­cate 1 at CQU in one of the three train­ing ar­eas and dur­ing their trainee­ship they are also placed with a not-for-profit com­mu­nity part­ner to get rel­e­vant work ex­pe­ri­ence that will en­able them to con­trib­ute in fu­ture em­ploy­ment.”

CQU lead hor­ti­cul­ture teacher Julie Barry is cur­rently work­ing with some of the GEA trainees in ob­tain­ing their Cer­tifi­cate 1 in Con­ser­va­tion and Land Man­age­ment.

“I’m teach­ing the trainees about chem­i­cals used in the hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try, how to iden­tify plant species, and the re-veg­e­ta­tion of na­tive species,” Ms Barry said.

“The GEA trainee­ships are a good foot in the door for trainees work­ing within con­ser­va­tion and land man­age­ment with or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Glad­stone Re­gional Coun­cil, Glad­stone Area Wa­ter Board and the Glad­stone Ports Cor­po­ra­tion very in­ter­ested in em­ploy­ing peo­ple with the right skills.”

GEA trainee Scott Gibbs said work­ing in and be­ing trained in con­ser­va­tion and land man­age­ment is ex­actly the ca­reer path he wanted.

“I’m a qual­i­fied fit­ter and turner but work is hard to find; how­ever, I re­ally want to move into hor­ti­cul­ture and the GEA trainee­ship has been re­ally good in putting me on that ca­reer path,” Mr Gibbs said.

“I would re­ally love to be a groundskeeper or even a park ranger and the con­nec­tions that I’m cur­rently mak­ing through the GEA have been great and through those con­nec­tions I be­lieve I’ll find full-time work be­fore the end of the year.”

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

GREEN THUMBS: CQU lead hor­ti­cul­ture teacher Julie Barry with GEA trainees (from left) Donovan Klein, Jed Ware, Scott Gibbs and Su­san Fit­ton. BE­LOW: Julie Barry teach­ing GEA trainee Scott Gibbs how to prop­a­gate Aus­tralian na­tives.

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