Skillset Senior College Agricultural team take on the Royal Bathurst Show

Skillset Senior College Agricultural team take on the Royal Bathurst Show

Months of preparation will all pay off when students from Skillset Senior College present sheep and cattle for the first time at the 2018 Royal Bathurst Show.

This weekend, students from the Skillset Senior College Agriculture team will be showing three Corriedale Sheep and a Hereford Steer at the Royal Bathurst Show. Skillset Education Manager Abbey Barrett commented on the immense value of running the agriculture program, “Agriculture is offered to all senior students at Skillset Senior College and it’s been incredible to watch the difference the agriculture department has made. The animals have provided a means for the students to build confidence and nurture positive relationships. It has also provided career ambitions with many students wanting to pursue further study and employment in Agriculture after they complete their HSC.”

Students across Years 10, 11 and 12 have access to a dedicated Agriculture area on school grounds. The area includes sheep yards, cattle yards and chicken pens with expansion of the area set to continue. Skillset Senior College Agriculture students, Lilian Nairne and Jacob Collins said they enjoyed being a part of the team and working with the animals. “The school is a great, supportive community to be a part of. Everyone who is a part of the team are dedicated to caring for the animals with many of the students volunteering their time during school holidays and weekends.”

Entering animals into the show would not have been possible if it wasn’t for generous donations from local businesses. Skillset Senior College would like to thank Mark Mason from Ceres Agriculture Company for donating a Hereford steer, and Rick Hoolihan from Rydal for donating three Corriedale stud sheep. Skillset Senior College Agriculture Prac Teacher Tyler Majchrzak, who is visiting from the University of Kentucky, commented on how agriculture had provided a positive impact on the students. “Students are given the opportunity to work with the animals and gain practical experience where they can get in and get their hands dirty in a learning environment.

Good luck to the Agriculture team!

#SkillsetStories: Meet Courtney Hogan NSW Training Awards Trainee of the Year Nominee

#SkillsetStories: Meet Courtney Hogan NSW Training Awards Trainee of the Year Nominee

Meet Courtney Hogan our nominee for Trainee of the Year for the NSW Training Awards 2018.

Courtney Hogan - Trainee of the Year - Skillset

Skillset is proud to nominate Courtney for Trainee of the Year. During her traineeship, we were extremely impressed with her dedication and enthusiasm to her studies and job.

Courtney has lived in Dubbo NSW for her entire life and after completing high school, she undertook her traineeship at Dubbo Regional Council – Rainbow Cottage. Her supervisor Ann Kean said it was a pleasure to watch Courtney’s self-confidence grow, particularly in her work. She is a confident and capable member of our team. She is able to field questions from anxious parents and to reassure them their child is receiving the best of care. She has always had a natural affinity with her young charges and has learned how to manage the varied and often challenging developmental behaviours of the babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers.

Courtney said she has always had an interest with working with children and jumped at the chance to apply for the Traineeship position when it was advertised by Skillset Workforce.

On top of Courtney’s training and employment, she is also an exceptional Hockey Player and has been chosen for various representative honours, including:

• Western Premier League – A Grade for Lithgow in 2017 and A Grade for Orange in 2018/
• Local Dubbo Hockey Competition – Named the Highest Goal Scorer for A Grade and named the Most Valuable Player.
• In 2016, selected for the NSW Under 18s Indoor Hockey Team
• In 2016, selected as a shadow player for the NSW Under 21s NSW Indoor Hockey Team
• In 2017, selected for the NSW Country Opens Hockey Team
• In 2017, selected to play for the 2018 Australian Under 21s Country Team.

Courtney is a wonderful advocate for further vocational study. She said it has been a great opportunity to study and work straight after completing high school. She said she would encourage anyone who has finished school to consider a Traineeship as it gives you work experience, valuable skills and a foot in the door to pursue an industry you are passionate about.

Courtney has been nominated by Skillset for this award for her dedication to all aspects of her life including study, employment and community sports involvement. Her ambition to continue her education and pursue university is inspiring, but so is her passion for helping teach younger generations at such an important stage of their life.

Well done Courtney!

Skillset’s Amanda Ferguson is namesake for Women’s Central West Rugby Union Cup

Skillset’s Amanda Ferguson is namesake for Women’s Central West Rugby Union Cup

Skillset Workforce are so incredibly proud of our own Regional Manager, Amanda Ferguson!

The former Wallaroos train-on squad member has received the “absolute honour” of having this year’s women’s league, in which last year’s Blowes Clothing Cup and GrainCorp Cup have been combined, named in recognition of her efforts and dedication to rugby.

Amanda has been a huge advocate of promoting the women’s game and we couldn’t think of a better person to be looked up to by young women in the game!

Article originally posted on Central Western Daily. 

The chance to win a trophy named after yourself is pretty rare, but that’s exactly what Orange Emus, Central West and NSW Country stalwart Amanda Ferguson has this year in Central West Rugby Union’s new-look women’s competition.

Ferguson has been involved with rugby as a player, a coach and an administrator since she found the game in high school and, in particular, has always focused specifically on promoting the women’s game.

As a result, the former Wallaroos train-on squad member has received the “absolute honour” of having this year’s women’s league, in which last year’s Blowes Clothing Cup and GrainCorp Cup have been combined, named in recognition of her efforts.

Starting in Saturday’s opening round, her Orange Emus and the competition’s 10 other title contenders will compete for the Westfund Amanda Ferguson Cup.

“I would never, ever have expected this, I’m pretty speechless,” a beaming Ferguson said at the competition’s launch on Wednesday morning.

“It’s an absolute honour. I’m chuffed. At Emus we’ve got a lot of new girls so I’m only playing to try and help them develop, and pass my passion on, but I guess winning the trophy would be interesting.

“Moving to 11 teams, we’ll get regular games and tough competition. It’s a great step for growth as individuals, teams and then for the competition itself.

“We just don’t know what we’ll come up against, no team can be taken for granted you know, there’s a sense of unknown about it which makes it more exciting.

“Obviously Bathurst Bulldogs won the Blowes Clothing Cup last year and West Wyalong were always really strong and consistent in the GrainCorp Cup, so they’ll be tough to beat and probably have a point to prove, they’ll want to stamp their authority on the new competition.”

That continued growth of the women’s game is what excites Ferguson the most, with Central West’s bumper league becoming another stepping stone on the path to the top just like this season’s inaugural Super W competition has at the elite level.

“With the amazing, exciting opportunities women have in the game now, well, I wish I was 20 years younger,” Ferguson laughed.

“It’s just so exciting. I can’t encourage people more to get involved, just get involved and try it. You know, with the success we’ve had at sevens and the Wallaroos doing well at the World Cup too, there’s a lot of interest around the women’s game and that’s great.”

The 2018 Westfund Amanda Ferguson Cup kicks off on Saturday, Bulldogs host Cowra, Orange City hosts CSU Bathurst, Cootamundra hosts Temora, Dubbo Rhinos and West Wyalong face-off in Parkes while Ferguson’s Emus travel to Grenfell to play Harden.

Good News for Youth Unemployment as Pledge250 Reaches Target

Good News for Youth Unemployment as Pledge250 Reaches Target

Hines Construction - Pledge 250 - Skillset Workforce

Skillset Workforce hits Pledge250 target! 

The Skillset Workforce Pledge 250 jobs campaign reached its 250th job target last week, coinciding with a recent Brotherhood of St Laurence Report highlighting significant decreases in youth unemployment across the Central West, Far West and Orana regions.

Skillset Workforce Senior Manager Jane McWilliam said it’s enormously encouraging to see the youth unemployment rates decreasing so significantly over the past two years. “Since January 2016 youth unemployment in the Central West has decreased by 5.3 per cent and in the Far West/Orana by an astonishing 10.4 per cent. We launched our first Pledge 250 campaign in November 2016 and while there are other contributing factors we believe we have had a small part to play in this incredible turnaround. We would like to thank all of the businesses who have pledged jobs and helped change so many young people’s lives.”

The 250th job, pledged by Hines Construction, was for a Contracts Administrator. Edward Lindsay, who is completing an apprenticeship with Skillset Workforce was the successful candidate. Lindsay said he is excited to be able to forge a career in Construction. “To be able to move into full-time work at the end my apprenticeship is awesome and I can’t thank Hines Construction enough for giving a young person like me this opportunity to grow my career in the Construction Industry.”

Hines Construction Managing Director David Hines said that his company has a major focus on employing local people and is delighted to have pledged 6 jobs for the Pledge250 Campaign. “Employing local people is an important focus here at Hines Constructions and we believe that we have some of the most highly skilled employees in the Central West. Partnering with Skillset Workforce allows us to focus on our business and takes the stress of recruitment off our shoulders.”

Skillset run a number of programs such as Skills4Trade, Youth Connect and Skillset Workforce Mentor Plus to help local youth in our region build their skill base for employment. Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo said Skillset Workforce is working with local businesses to identify what skills are needed. “Since November 2017, 67 per cent of jobs pledged were apprenticeships and traineeships. The campaign doesn’t stop here and it is our goal to continue to lower youth unemployment rates by working with local businesses to identify their needs and upskill our youth for their best chance of employment.”

To find out more about Skillset Workforce programs that are currently running please call 1300 853 525, email or visit

Check out the Prime7 News Central West Story here.

Moolarben Coal and Skillset Workforce lend a helping hand in Mudgee

Moolarben Coal and Skillset Workforce lend a helping hand in Mudgee

Twenty Mudgee locals kicked off new careers with Moolarben Coal this year, demonstrating Moolarben’s ongoing commitment to the local community through employment and training.

Recruited and employed by Skillset Workforce, the new starters are working in a range of roles including electrical, heavy plant and fixed plant mechanical apprenticeships, underground and surface operators and drill and blast traineeships.

Moolarben Coal General Manager Steve Archinal acknowledged the boost the new recruits bring to the workforce.

“We are proud to be involved with Skillset and to provide members of our community with new skills and an opportunity within our workforce. Additionally, our people find it a rewarding experience to be a part of this program, teaching teamwork and commitment,” said Steve.

These roles form part of the Skillset Workforce Pledge250 Jobs Campaign, which aims to address youth unemployment across the region.

With the Campaign currently at 237 jobs created, Skillset Workforce Senior Manager Jane McWilliam says they are almost.

“We are really committed to making a difference, both in people’s lives and in our regional communities, and we need businesses to help us do this. We need to work together to grow the skills and people our region needs for now and into the future. Moolarben Coal are paving the way and we encourage other businesses to get on board and commit to the future through jobs and training.”

Have a look at the great Prime News Story.

To find out more about Skillset Workforce and Pledge250 visit or call 1300 853 525.