End of a Green Army Era

End of a Green Army Era

Last Tuesday marked the last ever Green Army graduation and the last day of active operations with the program for Skillset. It was a day of mixed emotions for all those in attendance- a feeling of happiness in congratulating our highly successful Northern Beaches team, as well as a feeling of sadness as we paid tribute to a highly successful program. It was certainly a wonderful sight to see Skillset and Campbell Page staff in attendance alongside participants and members of Northern Beaches Council.

Skillset have successfully delivered 69 Green Army projects across Queensland and New South Wales and recruited 459 participants throughout the life of the program. A truly remarkable achievement.

The smiling faces you can see in the photo taken on Tuesday reflects the exact feeling among the group on the day- Green Army may have drawn to a close, but the pride everyone feels for the hard work and dedication shown over the years towards improving the natural environment while also inspiring, training and mentoring young people in the workplace will endure for many years to come.


Skillset Environment – Your Regional Land Partner

Skillset Environment – Your Regional Land Partner

Phase 2 of the National Landcare Program – Regional Land Partnerships – opened just prior to Christmas and Skillset Environment is committed to supporting Local Land Services and Landcare with tender submissions to give them the best possible chance of securing funding and achieving optimal environmental, agricultural, social and economic outcomes over the five-year contract period. Skillset Environment has a proven track record for delivering quality on-ground outcomes through strong partnerships with community, organisations and government.

Underpinned by Skillset’s fully resourced management systems and teams Skillset Environment can support  applications with:
o on ground work crews
o environmental and agricultural expertise
o community engagement strategies
o delivery of social outcomes
o strong links to funded industry training.

Demonstrating their ability to design, implement and complete successful partnerships that get results Skillset won the 2017 NSW Training Industry Collaboration Award. Skillset also won the externally judged 2017 BEST Partnership Award, recognising our outstanding performance as an environmental project partner for Campbell Page Ltd.

For more details about how Skillset Environment can help with your tender pls contact Ashley Bland on 0488 033 301

Green Army Lord Howe Finishes

Green Army Lord Howe Finishes

Skillset’s time delivering Green Army on Lord Howe island came to an end on Tuesday 5th December with the final graduation at Old Settlement Beach on the island. Skillset/Campbell Page have delivered 3 very successful Green Army projects on the island since July 2016. The projects have seen 12 participants successfully graduate. The 3 teams worked closely with the Lord Howe Island Board Weed Eradication program, tasked with assisting in the eradication of 5 invasive weed species that threaten the island’s unique flora and fauna. The 3 projects successfully treated over 240 hectares of the island’s total area. This involved working as a team to search various blocks in all terrain to remove juvenile weeds returning after larger infestation. The projects aimed to protect and conserve a highly significant, unique habitat that is home to a high number of unique and globally endangered species (the island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of global natural significance). The island is also an extremely important habitat for several migratory bird species. Skillset worked in close partnership with staff from the Lord Howe Island Board and a special thanks is given to Sue Bower for her hard work and dedication to making the 3 projects so successful. A special mention as well to the project supervisor- John Trehy for his work in managing and training the participants across 3 projects. We have thoroughly enjoyed working on such a unique and inspiring environmental project and hope to continue this successful partnership into the future.

Skillset recognised with BEST Outstanding Business Partner Award

Skillset recognised with BEST Outstanding Business Partner Award


Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo said it has been and continues to be a strong partnership between two like-minded organisations who focus on making a positive impact on the programs and services they deliver.

Nirmal Hansra Chair of Campbell Page presents the Outstanding Business Partner Award to Ashley Bland and Craig Randazzo last night at the 2017 BEST awards ceremony in Katoomba.

The Green Army program has been an amazing project to work on, together we have commenced a total of 1380 with around 30% of these young people identifying as Aboriginal Australians.

Together Skillset and Campbell Page have planted a total of 393,044 trees across NSW, the ACT and Queensland, revegetated over 5,385HA of degraded land and carried out weed treatment across 12,178 HA.

The social and economic outcomes have also been so important with Skillset’s Central West programs achieving over 80% employment outcomes for participants.

Although the Australian Government has stopped funding the program, Skillset and Campbell Page are looking at ways the two organisations can continue to achieve the great environmental and employment outcomes, with Skillset starting a new self-funded service called Skillset Land Works.

Land Works aims to involve young local people in on–ground environmental projects in a team environment, with a focus on skills development, and provides a professionally supervised work crew, and is already achieving some great outcomes, with several local projects across the Central West.

For more information on the Land Works program contact Thomas Staff on 1300 853 525


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.”


With heavy hearts we farewell the final Bathurst Green Army team

With heavy hearts we farewell the final Bathurst Green Army team

9 young people graduated from the final Green Army project in the Bathurst region today at Skillset’s Flannery Centre. This was the fifth and final project over a 2 year period for the area and a large crowd gathered to mark the occasion. Mayor Graeme Hangar thanked all participants on behalf of the community for the great work they have completed and Skillset Environment Manager Ashley Bland thanked Council for being a supportive and proactive Host.

The Green Army team, led by Skillset in partnership with Campbell Page and Bathurst Regional Council (Project Host) helped to protect, restore and connect Bathurst Woodlands.  The project was held on 17 sites to target native vegetation restoration. The Green Army Team assisted with site assessments, targeted weed control, fence removal, seed collection, planting of local native vegetation, walking track maintenance and erosion control.

Over the five projects, Skillset hosted 42 local young participants, of whom many are now gainfully employed. The project also reaped great environmental outcomes including nearly 8,000 planted trees and shrubs, 103ha of weed treatment and the removal of nearly 8 tonnes of debris.  In addition, the team gained skills in fencing, track construction, gully restoration, erosion control, seed collection and propagation, field days and events, monitoring and evaluation, and more.

The Green Army is a hands-on, practical environmental action program that supports local environmental and heritage conservation projects across Australia. It is an initiative for young Australians aged 17–24 years who are interested in protecting their local environment.

Skillset and Campbell Page partnered to become one of five Service Providers delivering the Green Army Programme for the Australian Government. Together with our training partner TAFE Western we manage projects across New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.