State Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman, Greg Adams managing director of Adnought Sheet Metal Fabrications, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Sheet metal Fabrication worker Megan Benson
State Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman, Greg Adams managing director of Adnought Sheet Metal Fabrications, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Sheet metal Fabrication worker Megan Benson

COURSES GALORE: 2,300 free apprenticeships for CQ

MORE THAN 2,300 free apprenticeships and traineeships have been made available for young Central Queenslanders as part of the State Government's Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs COVID-19 response.

While addressing media at Adnought Sheet Metal Fabrication in Kawana, Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman said young apprentices play a crucial role in Queensland's economic recovery.

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke hoped the initiative would upskill the region.

"Having local businesses provide on the job training for our young apprentices will ensure we have the skilled workers our region needs," he said.

The free apprenticeships and traineeships will cover any tuition fees but are open to people under 21.

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One of those is Kirby Gleeson how was picked up by Adnought. He said the program helped push him into an apprenticeship.

"It's a good program, I'd recommend other kids to do it. I get to do a lot of stuff … I get to see final products and that's pretty cool," he said.

Keppel MP hoped it would also entice more women into trades.

"Megan Benson completed her apprenticeship last year and is only the fifth female apprentice sheet metal worker in Central Queensland in the last decade,' she said.

The Queensland government's eligibility criteria online states: "To be eligible for free apprenticeships for under 21s, you must be employed in Queensland as an apprentice or trainee under a training contract in a high priority apprenticeship and traineeship qualification on or after 1 July 2019 and be aged under 21."

A list of 139 free apprenticeships and traineeships can be found on the Queensland Government website.

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