Desley Cowley, Nikki Spinks, Ann Armstrong, Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke, Justina O'Connor, Bob Blair, Jim Callan and Kay Pearson. Picture: Aden Stokes
Desley Cowley, Nikki Spinks, Ann Armstrong, Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke, Justina O'Connor, Bob Blair, Jim Callan and Kay Pearson. Picture: Aden Stokes

Trainees to receive the skills to land dream jobs

A dozen trainees are about to receive the skills that will lead to numerous full-time employment opportunities after a new traineeship program at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre received $239,000 in Skilling Queenslanders for Work funding.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke met with stakeholders on Thursday to officially launch the combined projects for Central Queensland Aboriginal Corporation for Cultural Activities and Multicultural Australia, who received the funding to deliver their Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs.

Mr O'Rourke said Central Queensland Aboriginal Corporation for Cultural Activities received $170,500 for their CQACCA/Dreamtime Cultural Centre Plant Tour Revival project.

He said 12 trainees from across Central Queensland would be offered the opportunity of 18 weeks' full-time paid employment where they would learn the technical and practical skills that would allow them to gain "on the job" experience and a Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management.

He said applications for the traineeships had closed, with 26 applications received and interviews scheduled to take place next week.

The goal of the project was to grow stock for the new Native Plant Nursery, which was scheduled to open on the grounds at Dreamtime Cultural Centre, rebuild the native plant tour that once formed an integral part of the cultural tour and regenerate a natural creek bed on site.

Mr O'Rourke said investing in people while improving a valuable cultural and tourism destination was a win-win for the community.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the work the successful trainees finish through this project and hope the experience leads to new opportunities too," he said.

"The program gives the participants the skills they need to be able to secure long term permanent employment, and more importantly, a certificate which is recognised everywhere in Australia.

"What we see with the program is 73 per cent of participants find work, take on further training or return to school around 12 months after exiting a Skilling Queenslanders for Work project.

"Any assistance we can provide to people who have been unemployed for an extended period of time to get into the workforce is wonderful."

Project co-ordinator for the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program Desley Cowley said participants would have a number of opportunities thanks to the project being supported by CQUniversity, Busy at Work, UpCycle CQ, Multicultural Australia, Dreamtime Cultural Centre and the State Government.

Ms Cowley said CQUniversity had donated 15 laptops and students would have the opportunity to participate in an extra-curricular From Cradle to Cradel upcycle project thanks to UpCycle CQ director Jim Callan.

"The excitement we have been receiving from the applicants is that the project it is here at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre, including the CQUniversity lessons," she said.

"The greatest advantage of it being here is we have conferences, tours and Radio 4US. Given the 18-week time frame there will be spare time for participants to pursue other opportunities and if they are interested, we will be able to give them side gigs.

"The primary focus is getting them to achieve that Cert I in Conservation and Land Management and hopefully we can also look at some employment opportunities on site."

Mr O'Rourke said Multicultural Australia had also secured $68,500 from Skilling Queenslanders for Work for their Community Assist project.

"This will support 20 people from a range of cultural and language backgrounds to study for the Certificate III in Individual Support and prepare for Australian workplace culture and processes," he said.



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