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!

Skillset Senior College Celebrates Students at Grad

Skillset Senior College Celebrates Students at Grad

There was hardly a dry eye in the house yesterday as students were celebrated at the Skillset Senior College Awards and Year 10 Graduation Ceremony.

Thirty-two year 10 students graduated from the College, with all but three planning on continuing into Year 11. Principal Mr Craig Randazzo congratulated the students on the commitment and dedication it has taken for them to successfully complete Year 10. “Each and every one of you has persevered and persisted and reaped the rewards of your efforts by being here today. I could not be more proud of you.”

Students across Years 10, 11 and 12 were also awarded faculty achievement and effort awards, with the inaugural Randazzo Award for citizenship, scholarship and leadership going to Year 12 student Corey Kovacs-Edmonds.

“Corey started with Skillset Senior College in 2015 as one of our first group of Year 10 students, and has been a model student throughout his time with us, achieving well right across all subject areas, and always embodying a positive approach to school and life, which aligns so well with our values here at Skillset”, said Skillset Manager of Education Abbey Barrett.

Another success was also celebrated this week with news of the first Skillset Senior College student being accepted into university. Elicia Dixon, one of the 2017 Year 12 students, the first Year 12 cohort through the College, has been accepted into Theatre Media at Charles Sturt University.

Skillset Senior College is an innovative Years 10 – 12 school set in an adult learning environment at the Flannery Centre. With a focus on individual well-being and achievement it is currently taking Year 10 enrolments for 2018

Skillset Wins Employer Support Award at Bathurst Business Awards

Skillset Wins Employer Support Award at Bathurst Business Awards

Skillset is honoured to have received the inaugural Defence Reserves Support Employer Support Award at the 2017 Peak Connect Carillon Business Awards in Bathurst on Saturday night. It is wonderful recognition for the culture of the organisation and the support provided to staff, in this instance our Defence Reserve staff.

Skillset first became a Reserve employer in 2016 when the organisation engaged a new member of the Senior College teaching staff with the full knowledge that this employee was also a serving Army Reserve Commissioned Officer with the local 1st/19th Infantry Battalion.

Immediately upon engagement at Skillset, the employee was released on a 6 month full time military service contract to attend to duties at Rifle Company Butterworth, Malaysia, with nearly 120 other reserve soldiers, including 15 from the Central West.

During this period Skillset Education Manager, Abbey Barrett, alongside the Bathurst Business Chamber Chair Stacey Whittaker, took up the Army invitation to brave military life for a week and visit troops in Malaysia on Operation Boss Lift.

On return to Skillset, their Reserve employee maintained a regular parading routine in the lead up to battalions preparation for its rotation to be ready to provide a heightened degree of response to the nation’s security in 2018. This includes Tuesday nights, weekends and extended exercises. Skillset Managers have extended every support to ensure the employee is granted leave, provided recovery time if necessary and can cut away early from work to attend military training, often at very short notice.

Beyond this, it’s the spirit and overall willingness of the Skillset team to let military planning and habits become a part of the operating procedures and environment within the work place. The team takes a genuine interest in the military activities and also provides wide spread support to cover the employee when he is away with the Army to manage the impact on the work place.

As a hub for young people, Skillset is also mindful of the opportunities that military service can provide vulnerable people who need a break. With this in mind military recruiters have been embraced at the school and a number of students have been targeted and mentored through the recruiting process with the aim of joining the local Battalion and beyond.

We believe Skillset is an excellent example of an employer who supports the Army Reserve, not because we have to, but because we want to.

Skillset Stars Shine at Glittering 35th Awards Gala

Skillset Stars Shine at Glittering 35th Awards Gala

Skillset Limited celebrated a huge milestone at the iconic Flannery Centre in Bathurst on Thursday evening by holding its ’35 Years Strong” Gala Awards dinner.

This year, Skillset celebrated its 35th year of operations which has seen thousands of young lives in our regions changed and supported through pivotal moments in their careers as they embark on apprenticeships, traineeships or just taking those first steps in their career. Skillset are proud to have supported over 6,000 apprentices and trainees to completion across central west and western NSW.

This milestone was celebrated in conjunction with our annual awards ceremony which celebrates the outstanding young talent in all facets of our business. From apprentices and trainees of our Workforce business unit, to prominent young achievers in the Green Army program of our Environment Unit, and outstanding community volunteer support for our Education unit, just to name a few.

Skillset was established in 1982 by Bathurst, Orange, Blayney, Parkes, Lithgow and Dubbo Councils and Chambers of Commerce, to help regional businesses by supplying them with apprentices. Central West Group Apprentices, as it was then known, employed one staff member and just 22 apprentices in the first year of operation.

Since then Skillset has developed three major business units to answer the calling to service more than just apprentices, but to educate and empower our local communities and even to support disengaged youth to transition back to school, training or the workforce. Skillset has achieved this over the years by introducing our diverse business units and programs to achieve this goal: Skillset Senior College, Skillset Workforce Recruitment, Skills and Engagement and Skillset Environment Land Works. Skillset are currently providing jobs and skills to over 400 employees.

Skillset Chair David Cooke said it was an important milestone for the organisation and a great opportunity to recognise so many who have contributed. “This is just a such a fitting grand finale for our 35 Years Strong anniversary year. To be celebrating the individuals, businesses and organisations who have made outstanding achievements or contributions is very special. It is a privilege to be in a position to have such a positive impact on both people’s lives and the organisations we work with, and we look forward to continuing our important work for another 35 years.”

The top Apprentice and Trainee of the Year Awards were taken out by Graphic Pre-Press apprentice Laura Burgett, hosted by Spatial Services Bathurst, Community Services trainee Maddison Griffiths-Leonard, hosted by Centacare Orange, and Plumbing apprentice Donald Dundas, hosted by Warrumbungle Shire Council.

Storco Storage Systems and PJL Group, both from Orange took out Skillset Workforce Host Awards, with Moolarben Coal winning the Skillset Workforce Jim Todman Safety Award, and Interact Injury Management the Skillset Workforce Partnership Award.

Skillset Environment recognised outstanding individuals and organisations from their Green Army program over the last 12 months, with Eurobodalla Team Supervisor Damon Lane and Participant Billy-Ray Davis-Wilson, the Kalyarr Team, participant Thomas Kennedy, Holbrook Landcare Network and Central West Lachlan Landcare all receiving awards.

Skillset Education Awards went to Youth Connect participant Sam Hampton, Skillset Senior College volunteer Helen McGoldrick and Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre in recognition of the support they have provided to Skillset Senior College students.

Skillset Workforce Operations and Return to Work Manager Anthea Koehn received the Skillset Service Award.

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo paid tribute to the staff, and credited them and the innovative range of services for the organisation’s longevity and success “Just tonight we have launched the Skillset Workforce 2017 Pledge250 Jobs Campaign, and the Skillset Environment Land Works Service, as well as celebrating our first year of Year 12 students at Skillset Senior College, and Skills4Trade and Youth Connect Programs. You can’t do this without staff who are willing to embrace innovation, and are committed to delivering excellence in everything they do. We are very much the sum of our parts and I thank each and every one of them for their passion and hard work.”


Calves shine a light on Dairy Industry

Calves shine a light on Dairy Industry

There was great excitement among students from Skillset Senior College earlier this week when two, seven week old jersey calves were delivered to our school.

The calves, belonging to a local farmer from Canowindra, are part of Dairy Australia’s innovative program ‘Cows Create Careers’ Farm Module. Delivered across 23 dairying regions, the program aims to encourage young people to consider a career in the dairy industry.

Rearing the three-week-old calves at school is at the heart of the program. “Students will be required to feed the calves twice a day, as well as look after and monitor them to help instill an appreciation of what is required to keep livestock healthy” said Mark, Skillset Senior College’s Agriculture teacher. “It also hopes to showcase the Dairy industry as a real and potential career avenue” he added.

Students also complete theoretical modules, are introduced to vocational and university pathways and learn about the linkages between educational and employment sectors. The ‘Cow’s Create Careers’ program kicked off in 2004 and is now offered in over 200 schools, with nearly 12,000 students participating each year.

Abbey Barrett, Manager for Education at Skillset Senior College said “the students just light up when they come in contact with animals. This is such an innovative program and we are so pleased that our students are so keen to participate. One of the calves is already known as Princess. Not sure what the second calf will be called just yet but I’m sure we won’t have long to wait.”

Princess and her calf mate will call Skillset Senior College home for the next three weeks.