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 pledge250@skillset.com.au or visit www.skillset.com.au

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 skillset.com.au/job-vacancies 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 skillset.com.au/safer-driver-course or by calling 0418 225 234

Mudgee Partnership Delivers Life Changing Results

Mudgee Partnership Delivers Life Changing Results

An exciting program developed by local organisations Skillset Workforce, Moolarben Coal and Lifeskills Plus that assists locals transitioning into the workplace is delivering life changing results for three Mudgee men (Chris Rushworth, Russell Moriarty and Ross Turner).

Skillset Workforce and Moolarben Coal approached Lifeskills Plus late last year to see if any of their clients would be interested in the opportunity to work at Moolarben Coal. Chris, Russell and Ross were all keen to give it a go, and with the support of all the organisations, they went through the interview and testing process and were successful in being offered placements.
“It is incredibly rewarding to see the progress Chris, Russell and Ross are making. Moolarben Coal and all the staff onsite have been really supportive, assisting all three in working towards gaining independence in the workplace,” says Skillset Workforce’s Annette Rhodes.

The men are currently working alongside staff in the Maintenance and Stores Departments, assisting in the maintenance of the fleet and preparation of Personal Protective Equipment.
It has proven to be a rewarding experience for Chris, Russell and Ross and they are now working with Skillset Workforce and Lifeskills Plus on the next stage of their development.
“Chris, Russell and Ross are paving the way for people with disabilities in a demanding industry and the results show just what can be achieved through teamwork and commitment.
“Everyone involved is proud to be associated with these young men and they have taught everybody a great deal during this program. None of this could have been achieved without the involvement of Moolarben Coal and it is great to see the support they give to the community,” added Skillset Workforce’s Annette Rhodes


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.”


WorldSkills Medal for Bradley Ingham

WorldSkills Medal for Bradley Ingham

Photo by WorldSkills. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Central West Fitter Machinist Bradley Ingham, who completed his apprenticeship recently with Skillset Workforce has won a Silver Medal at the Worldskills competition in Abu Dhabi overnight.

The Australian team of 43 trades people won a total of 4 medals; 2 silver and 2 bronze, which saw them finish 10th overall in the competition, that comprised 3000 participants including competitors, experts and officials, from 77 countries competing in 51 skills.

To make Brad’s medal winning performance even more incredible, the gold medal winner in his category, Biao Song from China, went on to win the Albert Vidal Award, which recognises the competitor that achieves the overall highest score out of all competitors in all Skill categories.

Brad says he is stoked by his result. “I was shockingly nervous but it’s incredible,” he said. “I knew I was sort of up there a bit but wasn’t expecting a silver medal, it’s awesome. Time for a beer.”

Brad was hosted by Hort Enterprises in Orange, where he now works as a fully qualified tradesman. Engineering Manager at Hort Enterprises Chris Hutchinson said “ Hort Enterprises is extremely proud of his achievements. From day one Brad has shown great aptitude for the trade, and has always applied himself and taken pride in his work. Training and developing apprentices to be the best is a passion at Hort Enterprises, and Brad is definitely one of the best.”

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo says the win is an extraordinary achievement and highlights the opportunities available to those pursuing a trade or skill “Brad has done us all proud and we are just thrilled for him. This is a well-deserved recognition of his skills and hard work. It demonstrates just how far an apprenticeship can take you. We love supporting our apprentices through their journey, and seeing them achieve at such a high level”.

To see all the WorldSkills photos go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldskills_auPhoto by WorldSkills Australia. All rights reserved. Used by permission.