Cus­tom po­si­tion a dream win for starter Ger­rard

GAGAL help­ing to stem skills short­age

The Observer - - NEWS - Caro­line Tung Caro­line.Tung@glad­sto­neob­server.com.au

TEEN Ger­rard Bannan says his new four-year ap­pren­tice­ship has been a long-time com­ing.

Ger­rard, 19, has re­cently started at Cus­tom Fluid Power in Glad­stone as a fit­ter and turner. “Straight up, (the ap­pren­tice­ship) was ev­ery­thing that I hoped for,” he said.

“It’s a long road ahead.” Ger­rard will learn skills on the job and shadow trades­men but he said in the fu­ture, he would also like to con­tinue his train­ing at CQUniver­sity.

Cus­tom’s branch man­ager Grant Aitken said Ger­rard had made a great start.

“Ger­rard has shown a lot of ini­tia­tive,” he said.

“Cus­tom is very keen on en­hanc­ing the skill level in the town and is pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing lo­cal busi­nesses.”

Mr Aitken said Glad­stone Area Group Ap­pren­tices Ltd was in­stru­men­tal in se­cur­ing the ap­pren­tice­ship.

He said it was the first time the business had sought GAGAL’s help to em­ploy new staff.

“From the very first con­tact they’ve been proac­tive about help­ing us get it over the line,” Mr Aitken said.

“Since we’ve put Ger­rard on, the help we’ve re­ceived has been sec­ond to none.”

GAGAL’s CEO Leigh Zim­mer­lie praised Cus­tom for tak­ing the “huge step” to em­ploy an ap­pren­tice.

“We’re very, very happy with Cus­tom and more than grate­ful that they’ve cho­sen to come through GAGAL,” she said.

“We have had 34 years in the business to date and it’s very ex­cit­ing for us to wel­come an­other ap­pren­tice onto our books.

“At the moment, (Aus­tralia is) go­ing through a huge skills short­age and it’s only go­ing to get worse.

“So with­out com­pa­nies such as Cus­tom, who have the fore­sight to put an ap­pren­tice on who’ll take four years to train, we will get that skills short­age. “For GAGAL, it’s re­ally ex­cit­ing. Ev­ery ap­pren­tice we put on, we feel that it’s one step for­ward for Glad­stone in the fu­ture.”

❝ Cus­tom is very keen on en­hanc­ing the skill level in the town and is pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing lo­cal busi­nesses. — Grant Aitken

PHOTO: MIKE RICHARDS

WIN WIN: Glad­stone Area Group Ap­pren­tices Ltd CEO Leigh Zim­mer­lie wel­comes Cus­tom Fluid Power branch man­ager Grant Aitken and new ap­pren­tice Ger­rard Bannan.

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