Skillset Environment welcomes the ACCC’s report into energy prices

Skillset Environment welcomes the ACCC’s report into energy prices

ACCC Report 2018 - Electricity Market

On Thursday July 11th 2018, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) released a blueprint with recommendations to significantly improve electricity affordability for Australian consumers and businesses. The Inquiry, which commenced in March 2017, began by identifying the root causes of high electricity prices across the entire electricity supply chain and has now made 56 recommendations detailing ways to fix the National Electricity Market.

Skillset Environment Senior Manager Ashley Bland has welcomed the ACCC report and the positive change it can make to our regional communities.

“We have been seeing the effects of the high cost of electricity in our regional communities for individuals and businesses. The report highlights recommendations for organisations and individuals to reduce the need to buy electricity.”

The ACCC report has highlighted that the electricity and energy market can be confusing and difficult for businesses and individuals to get a fair deal. Skillset Environment offers a number of services to help organisations and individuals make informed decisions when it comes to reducing energy usage.

Mr. Bland said, “Skillset Environment completes detailed Renewable Energy Action Plans for local governments and businesses. We also complete home and business energy assessments that provide independent advice for improving energy and water usage. Throughout the analysis phase of residential and organisational projects, we have been watching the energy market and can see where the relationship between supply, demand, and price has broken down.”

This report is good news for individuals and businesses and could make a significant impact on the energy market landscape in Australia. Mr. Bland said, “The ACCC report is a good step toward changing the energy landscape in Australia and to start making changes from the ground up.”

Skillset Environment has consultants ready to provide independent advice on energy, water and waste for households, organisations and local governments all across regional NSW. For more information regarding these services, please call 1300 853 525.

Land Works helps headspace Bathurst and Marathon Health open Garden

Land Works helps headspace Bathurst and Marathon Health open Garden

Land Works attended the official opening of the headspace Bathurst and Marathon Health Garden Opening on June 26th. 

headspace Garden opening Bathurst NSW - Land Works - Skillset Environment

headspace Bathurst launched its new central site and will help the community access a variety of health services. The new location includes a Greenspace that has been designed to provide users with a multi functional garden for relaxation, meeting and events, recreation and entertainment. The Greenspace will be surrounded by vertical gardens and art walls to create a comfortable atmosphere. Complete with a decking ampitheatre, synthetic lawn, BBQ area, and pergola, this solar passive design will allow the Greenspace to be enjoyed throughout all seasons.

The Land Works team have been proud to be given the opportunity to design and construct the garden and design a space that will provide a number of benefits to visitors, staff and volunteers.

The garden we have helped create is a place that will make people feel welcomed and make them feel comfortable.

We would like to thank the entire Land Works crew who have worked on this project and finally thank you to headspace, Marathon Health and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for letting Land Works be involved in this project.

headspace garden opening - landworks - skillset environment

Land Works offers a number of services for residential, commercial and industrial landscaping projects including:

  • The design and construction of residential landscapes that are environmentally focussed, functional and customised to your requirements.
  • Design and construction services for urban landscapes including schools, councils, civil construction, roads and large infrastructure.
  • Assisting with sustainable agriculture such as erosion control, weed management and improvement of ecological functions.
  • Regeneration and rehabilitation of natural environments such as large scale tree planting, weed control, bush remediation and environmental assessment, planning and management.

For more information please call Thomas Staff on 1300 853 525 or email

Try-a-Trade Expo gives high school students valuable exposure to a variety of industry trades

Try-a-Trade Expo gives high school students valuable exposure to a variety of industry trades

Next Tuesday, June 26th and Wednesday, June 27th Skillset Workforce, and Moolarben Coal’s Try-a-Trade Expo will give 350 local high school students the opportunity to try a variety of vocational trades to help them on their journey to their future career.

Try a Trade | Mudgee | Skillset Workforce

Deciding on what a Year 10 or 11 student may want to pursue when they leave school can be a difficult decision. The diverse range of trades involved gives students the opportunity to try and industry that they would never have considered before.

Some of the new businesses who will showcase for the first time are Mudgee Police, SES Mudgee, Mudgee Monkey, Country Physiotherapy, Plumbing Worx, Uavair – Unmanned Systems Training, Hort Enterprises, NSW Volunteer Rescue – Gulgong, Double R – Mudgee, TAFE Health Orange & Dubbo and TAFE Beauty Dubbo.

This event would not be possible without the support of local businesses and schools. Moolarben Coal General Manager Steve Archinal recognised that the Try-a-Trade expo is a valuable community initiative. “It helps students learn and gain hands-on experience in different industries. It’s important to showcase how much opportunity a young person has access to through Vocational Education and Training in regional NSW.”

Skillset Workforce Senior Manager Jane McWilliam said it’s important to show high school students that there are options other than university. “Previously aiming to attend university was promoted as one of the only options for high school students to consider once they left school. Try-a–Trade shows that there is a variety of opportunity for school leavers to access and VET can set individuals on a path to achieve incredible success.”

The NSW Government Department of Industry reports that 77% of VET graduates in NSW are employed after they complete their training and that median full-time income for a VET graduate is $56,000 compared to $54,000 which is the median graduate salary for students completing a bachelor degree at university.

The Try-a-Trade expo will be held at Mudgee High School on Tuesday June 26th and Wednesday June 27th. High school students across Western NSW will be attending and includes schools from Mudgee, Gulgong, Dunedoo, Coolah, Mendooran, Kandos, and Dubbo.

2018 Western Training NSW Awards

2018 Western Training NSW Awards

Incredible young people from across Western NSW were recognised at the 2018 Western Training Awards Gala Night held at the Orange Ex-Services Club, last Friday.

Skillset Workforce had four finalists in the Apprentice of the Year Awards including, Mathew Harvey, (PJL Group-Orange), Joseph Duffy (PJL Group – Orange), Kevin Sawdy (JA&T Grives Bricklaying – Bathurst), and Laura Burgett (Spatial Services – Bathurst). Courtney Hogan (Dubbo Regional Council – Rainbow Cottage Child Care Centre) was also named as a finalist for Trainee of the Year.  We were lucky to have Skillset Workforce Apprentice Mathew Harvey win the prestigious 2018 Apprentice of the Year at the Western Training Awards Gala Night held at the Orange Ex-Services Club, last Friday.

Mathew, who completed his apprenticeship in February, was employed by Skillset Workforce and hosted by PJL Group for the four years of his apprenticeship in Certificate III Engineering-Fabrication Trade. Mathew embarked on an engineering apprenticeship as a mature age student after previously working for a construction company and knew that becoming a qualified tradesman would provide him with further opportunity. Since completing his apprenticeship, Mathew is now a Leading Hand at PJL Group having been immediately promoted from an apprentice to a Team Manager. An amazing achievement for a newly qualified tradesman.

Mathew will now proceed to the next stage of the Training Awards as a State Finalist for the NSW  2018 Apprentice of the Year Award held later in the year.

Our Finalists for Apprentice of the Year: 

Mathew Harvey – Skillset Workforce 

Mathew completed his apprenticeship in Engineering-Fabrication Trade with Host Employer PJL Group. Mat is a very reliable, enthusiastic and committed young person. He especially excels at being a positive leader and his awareness of safety policy within the workplace.

Joseph Duffy – Skillset Workforce

Joe completed his apprenticeship in Engineering – Mechanical Trade with Host Employer PJL Group. Joe is a dedicated employee and has an inspiring drive to continue to push forward with his engineering career.

Kevin Sawdy – Skillset Workforce 

Kevin completed his apprenticeship in Bricklaying with Host Employer Jim Grives from JA & T Grives Bricklaying. Kevin has been an outstanding apprentice with his trade/technical skills being particularly impressive. Kevin was a part of the Bathurst team for the 2017 competition. They won the national competition, making them Australia’s best bricklaying apprentices.

Laura Burgett – Skillset Workforce 

Laura completed her apprenticeship in Print Communications with Host Employer Spatial Services. Laura has been an extremely impressive apprentice. Her achievements have been recognised by winning both the 2017 NSW Heidelberg – Lithographic Institute Association Award and 2017 Skillset Apprentice of the Year Award.

Our Finalist for Trainee of the Year: 

Courtney Hogan – Skillset Workforce 

Courtney completed her apprenticeship in Community Services – Early Childhood Education and Care with Host Employer Dubbo Regional Council – Rainbow Cottage Child Care Centre. Courtney was nominated for this award due to her dedication to all aspects of her life including study, employment and community sports involvement. Her passion for helping teach younger generations at such an important stage of their lives shines through.

Skillset is extremely proud of all of our finalists and all their acheivements during their apprenticeship and traineeship. We congratulate them and wish them well for the future, which are very bright!

Check out the photos of the event below:

Congratulations to our Land Works Internship Graduates

Congratulations to our Land Works Internship Graduates


Land Works Lithgow Graduation

Skillset were proud to see a number of Skillset Environment Land Works interns graduate in Lithgow on Thursday, June 7th, 2018. The internship gave participants experience working at Upper Dingo Swamp – Newnes Plateau.

The Upper Dingo Swamp Internship Project was a partnership between Skills 4 Trade, Forestry Corporation NSW, Central Tablelands Local Land Services and Land Works to control invasive weeds in an endangered ecosystem.

Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamp is a state listed Threatened Ecological Community isolated to the Newnes Plateau and small parts of the Blue Mountains. This swamp ecosystem provides critical habitat for several endangered flora and fauna species including the Giant Dragonfly, the Blue Mountains Water-Skink and Deans Boronia. The project aimed to remove/treat thousands of pine wildlings across 32.5 hectares of Upper Dingo Swamp. Invasive pine from neighbouring forests has rapidly spread throughout several endangered swamps causing degradation of habitat.

Lithgow candidates were interviewed at Verto and Joblink with eight (8) individuals securing internships. Interns completed a three (3) week Skills 4 Trade intensive training program which required the completion of weed control, chemical application, WH&S, and work skill TAFE units. The internship crew completed sixteen (16) working days at the Upper Dingo swamp treating a total of 7268 pine wildlings, exceeding all project expectations. CTLLS and Forestry were extremely happy with the outcome achieved.

Congratulations to all involved!