Gladstone businesses reap the rewards of traineeship programs in 2017.

GLADSTONE businesses reaped the benefits of the Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA) traineeship program in 2017 with over 80% of trainees gaining employment.


“At a time when employment was, and still is, scarce in the Gladstone region, the GEA traineeship program not only helped trainees obtain work but also benefited more than 50 employers who gained new employees,” GEA Employment Coordinator Shana Gelin said.


The GEA traineeships are part of the Queensland Government's, Skilling Queenslanders for Work project, which focuses on assisting people who are unemployed to connect into employment and offer them a chance to reskill for a new occupation.


“The benefits of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work project is it not only helped people secure employment in 2017 but also assisted future employers, including GEA’s members, to identify trainees as future employees,” Ms Gelin said.


“GEA are always working towards our vision of building a highly skilled and capable workforce and from speaking with our members, GEA identified that unemployment and the availability of skilled workers was an important issue impacting Gladstone’s business community."


In 2017 the GEA employed 74 trainees who worked with their community partners in business, construction and conservation as part of three 18-week Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs.


The 80% success rate includes eight trainees who moved into fulltime traineeships in business and hospitality with another seven trainees gaining apprenticeships in areas as diverse as carpentry, plumbing, painting, diesel fitting, heavy vehicle mechanics and telecommunications.


GEA trainee Sturt Chettle gained a carpentry apprenticeship through the traineeship program with GEA member Exceed Fencing.  Mr Chettle said if it wasn’t for the GEA traineeship program he would most likely still be unemployed.


“I’m surprised because I didn’t expect to find an apprenticeship in Gladstone,” he said.


“The GEA traineeship program really opened doors for me and gave me some great contacts but most of all I have now got an apprenticeship which gives me something to work towards and it also gives me a future.”


Exceed Fencing Director Kenny Urquhart said the GEA traineeship program specifically selected Mr Chettle for his business.


“The GEA have helped me with contracts, contacts and now employment which is a service that I have found invaluable and really puts the emphasis on locals hiring locals rather than people from out of the region.”


Mr Chettle, along with another 35 GEA trainees, will graduate from the traineeship program tomorrow, Friday, January 12 at the Toondoon Botanical Gardens café Savour the Flavour from 12pm.


The Skilling Queenslanders for Work project is proudly funded and supported by the Queensland Government.  Funding of $10,000 to $20,000 is available under the Queensland Government’s Youth Boost and Back to Work initiative with payments made directly to the employer of an eligible employee. 


For more information about GEA traineeships and the Youth Boost and Ready for Work initiative contact GEA Employment Coordinator Shana Gelin on 07 49729060.


Picture: GEA trainee and now carpentry apprentice Sturt Chettle (front) with Exceed Fencing Director Kenny Urquhart repairing fencing at the Gladstone Refuse Centre.

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