Apprenticeship gives Rocky boy a new lease of life

WORKING ON A CAREER: Aiden McDougall has benefited from starting an apprenticeship.
WORKING ON A CAREER: Aiden McDougall has benefited from starting an apprenticeship.

AIDEN McDougall knows the dreadful feeling of being unemployed but recent success through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program has given him a new lease on life.

The apprentice carpenter, 21, was skipping from one dead end job to the next before he entered the government's employment program.

"I was in and out of work for the last year just doing sales people jobs," he said.

"I was just trying to find whatever I could."

Aiden came close to giving up looking before he saw an ad for Skilling Queensland in the newspaper.

"There were a few days there where I was pretty down on myself," he said.

"I was thinking that there was no point in going out and looking anymore.

"I'm so glad my girlfriend and my family pushed me to do the job."

After three months of working labour on a variety of projects across the region he landed full time employment with CQ Designer Sheds.

Aiden is just one of the 655 CQ people who have found employment through the program, and they are among 10,000 people state-wide.

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga announced the CQ figures yesterday.

"At the end of August, figures show a total 1012 people have completed a project," Mrs Lauga said.

"665 have secured a job and a further 247 have gone into further training or returned to school."

For Aiden, landing a full-time job has turned his life around and he is looking forward to a bright future.

"It's being a massively uplifting experience," he said.

"Before I was literally living off my girlfriend's wages and it was very self-demeaning and degrading.

"Now that I have the job I'm completely just over the moon."

Just like it is for many people, being employed gives Aiden a strong sense of purpose in life.

"It's part of life," he said.

"You work until you get old, that's how my grandparents and my parents did it, that's how I'm going to do it."

The Palaszczuk Government has invested $11,502,220 under Skilling Queenslanders for Work with a total of 56 projects designed to move people into the workforce.

Topics:  aiden mcdougall brittany lauga rockhampton employment skilling queenslanders for work

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