New program gives a big boost for CQ apprenticeships
RILEY Stewart toiled over the grader, his two years' experience obvious in his precision.
The second-year diesel fitter apprentice's dedication was on display when the Minister for Training and Skills Development, Shannon Fentiman, toured the Hastings Deering worksite in Rockhampton yesterday alongside local member Barry O'Rourke.
New youth unemployment figures, released yesterday, show Fitzroy's rate has dropped from 12.5% to 12.3% last month.
The region's overall unemployment rate was 6.7%.
Minister Fentiman's Rockhampton visit was to encourage students and employers to take advantage of the Palaszczuk Government's $5 million Trade Skills Assessment and Gap Training program.
"This is an industry-led trade training initiative that provides a pathway for Queenslanders who already have years of experience on the job but are looking to boost their career and earn a trade qualification," Ms Fentiman said.
"The program supports employers to take on more apprentices, by ensuring business owners and their staff who have completed a trade qualification are recognised by the Queensland Government as workplace supervisors of apprentices."
For Riley, of Biloela, having an apprenticeship has given him a head-start in life.
He said he had been working on a piece of major machinery since before Christmas, and now it is "finally ready to go".
The job required him to pull the engine out, re-hose it, take the transmission out and re-seal it.
Riley has enjoyed his apprenticeship.
"They encouraged me to step up a bit more and step into bigger things," he said.
Riley's message to young people was to have a go at starting a trade.
"The program supports employers to take on more apprentices, by ensuring business owners and their staff who have completed a trade qualification are recognised by the Queensland Government as workplace supervisors of apprentices," Ms Fentiman said.
Applications from pre-qualified suppliers for the latest round of trade skills assessment and gap training funding close on March 31.
For more information or a full list of priority trades supported under TSAGT and approved Pre-Qualified Suppliers, visit https://training.qld.gov.au/ providers/funded/tradegap.