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.

100 Jobs in One Month!

100 Jobs in One Month!

The 100th job was pledged last Friday in the Pledg250 job creation campaign being run by Skillset Workforce to help address high youth unemployment in the region.

The campaign reached the 100 job milestone, pledged by Bathurst Express Freight, in only one month and Skillset Workforce Senior Manager Jane McWilliam believes the end of March target of 250 jobs is well in sight and this campaign may even exceed that number. “Our last Pledge250, which was also the first time we had run this campaign, we took 2 months to get to 100 jobs. This year we have done it in one month which is an incredible result and we thank all the businesses who have jumped on board so quickly and opened up all these exciting job opportunities. We have so many young people leaving school across the region and to have so many jobs available for them this early is wonderful. We are really keen to have 150 jobs pledged by Christmas and encourage any businesses out there who are thinking about putting on new staff in the New Year to contact us. We can help with all your recruitment needs, and have special expertise in apprenticeships and traineeships. Providing skills and jobs across the region is what we are passionate about.”

While youth (ages 15-24) unemployment in the region has dropped from 12.2% to 10.8% since July 2016, it is still more than twice the rate of the total unemployment rate for the region which is now 4.5% (Dept. of Employment Oct 2017).

As well as helping create jobs across the region Skillset Workforce are also running Skills4Trade pre-employment programs to assist young people in being ready to move into these roles. Skills4Trade programs are currently running across Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee and Dubbo, with more scheduled for early in the New Year. These programs include a work placement component and so offer businesses the option of hosting a candidate on a ‘try before you buy’ basis.

The Skills4Trade/Pedge250 programs won the Industry Collaboration Award at this years NSW Training Awards, recognising the skills and job creation model for its high levels of innovation and impact.

To find out more about Pledging a Job and Changing a Life call 1300 853 525, email or visit

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

National win for Donald and Skillset

National win for Donald and Skillset

Donald Dundas, a recently completed Skillset Workforce apprentice, won the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at last Thursday’s 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra.

The Australian Governments annual event recognises the best of the best in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) industry – from apprentices and students to teachers and employers. In front of an audience of over 750 people Donald was the only New South Wales finalist to take out one of the national awards.

Donald completed a Plumbing Apprenticeship with local organisation Skillset, and was hosted by Warrumbungle Shire Council. He excelled at all aspects of his apprenticeship, and his enthusiasm, leadership and skills earned him the respect of his peers, trainers and managers.

Donald found his passion for plumbing while working as a labourer on an aboriginal housing project.

Whether it is mentoring, communicating with his local community or organising effective workflow for his employers at Warrumbungle Shire Council, Donald’s Australian Apprenticeship has also taught him to lead by example and encourage others to take up a trade. Donald prides himself on the positive relationship he has established with his community through his on the job training.

Donald said he couldn’t believe he had won the Award and that he was a “proud Aboriginal man driven to be a leader, not only of his people, but to encourage all to have a go and better themselves.”

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo, who attended the Awards, said that Donald had done himself, his employers and regional New South Wales proud. “Donald is such a committed and humble man, such a positive role model for so many young people out there who are just starting out. It is an honour to have been a part of his journey. He really shows how far you can go with a VET career”.

Skillset Workforce is currently recruiting for apprentices and trainees across the Western and Central Western regions, including positions in Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Mudgee, West Wyalong, Parkes and Cobar. Go to for details.

Helping L Platers this Christmas

Helping L Platers this Christmas

“Having a license is a great help in getting, and getting to, a job” says Skillset Skills and Engagement Manager Sharon Bradley “so it’s important to start building those log book hours and skills required to get P Plates. Also with Christmas approaching is the time to make sure your L Plater has the driving skills they need to be safe on the roads over this period.”

The Christmas period is one of the most high risk times on Australian Roads, with increased traffic volumes, increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness, people driving in unfamiliar environments, and a higher number of people who are driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Skillset Safer Drivers Course, comprises two modules:
• Module 1 – a three hour facilitated group discussion to build awareness of risks, safe driving behaviours and decisions.
• Module 2 – a two-hour in-vehicle coaching session. You are partnered with another student and you will each spend one hour behind the wheel.

Learner Drivers must have 50 hours driving experience (i.e actual on road hours, not including 3 for 1 credits) as evidenced in their log book to be eligible for the course, 10 of these hours must be night driving hours. The course costs $140 and is worth 20 log book hours on successful completion. The course may be available at no cost under the Disadvantaged Learner Initiative if the participant holds a current Pensioner Concession Card issued by the Department of Human Services – Centrelink.

The December Skillset Safer Driver Courses are on in Dubbo, Mudgee and Orange on Saturday 9th, Cowra on Saturday 16th and Bathurst on Monday 18th. Bookings can be made online at or by calling 0418 225 234

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