Additional Support For Apprentices Announced Today

Additional Support For Apprentices Announced Today

Skillset is delighted to advise that we have been selected by the Australian Government to deliver additional support to apprentices and trainees across central & western NSW and the New England, under the $60m Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) program announced today by the Minister. This service will be delivered by Skillset Workforce Mentor Plus to apprentices and trainees in the construction and mining industries.

This very exciting new program, funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, recognizes our experience and expertise in supporting apprentices and trainees and will provide much needed additional support in industries undergoing structural change.

For more details about Skillset Workforce Mentor Plus call 0427 751 816 or visit

Please find below the link to the Ministers announcement for more details of the program


Record Skillset Workforce Apprentice Intake for PJL Group

Record Skillset Workforce Apprentice Intake for PJL Group

In a boost to regional jobs and skills PJL Group and Skillset Workforce have partnered to employ a record number of apprentices and trainees for PJL, who started work today in Orange

Eighteen people have commenced in a range of roles, with eight undertaking Heavy Vehicle Apprenticeships, six Engineering (Fabrication) Apprenticeships, two Engineering (Mechanical) Apprenticeships, one Auto Electrical Apprenticeship and one Business Trainee.

PJL Group Manager NSW Ben Hockey says a strategic planning process undertaken last year by PJL identified apprenticeships and training as a priority for the business, and this will be the first step in that direction. “We are really excited to be consolidating our commitment to supporting local communities through employment and training with this new, expanded apprenticeship program. We are experiencing a real trades shortage in Australia at the moment, and providing an opportunity for young people to develop such valuable skills for the future is incredibly satisfying. And partnering with Skillset Workforce allows us to focus on we do best and let the experts deal with the recruitment and employment processes.”

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 124 jobs created, Skillset Workforce Senior Manager Jane McWilliam says they have made a good start but still need more businesses to follow PJL’s lead. “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. PJL Group are really showing the way here and we encourage other businesses to get on board and commit to the future through jobs and training.”

To find out more about Skillset Workforce and Pledge250 visit or call 1300 853 525. And to see the new starters on their first day watch the Prime 7 News Story.

Skills4Trade Gets Them Working

Skills4Trade Gets Them Working

Thirty four young people graduated from the Skillset Workforce/ TAFENSW Skills4Trade program across the region last week – with fourteen already securing work as a result of the award winning program.

In Bathurst 5 students completed the Land Works Skills4Trade program and 4 the Carpentry and Engineering Skills4Trade, in Orange 8 completed an Engineering and Automotive Skills4Trade, in Dubbo 3 undertook Construction and Automotive Skills4Trade and in Mudgee 14 completed either the Mining or Construction Skills4Trade.

With over 40% of graduates already securing work Skillset Workforce Senior Manager Jane McWilliam says they are delighted with the success of the program “Skills4Trade, in conjunction with our Pledge250 Jobs Campaign is about getting young people ‘job ready’, and then having jobs for them to try. The programs won the Industry Collaboration Award at this year’s NSW Training Awards and that has now been backed up by the outcomes we are seeing from this group of Skills4Trade graduates. It really is making a difference and we are committed to continuing this work into the New Year.”

The students undertook trade training at TAFE NSW, “Strong not Tough” training with the TAFE counsellor to build life skills and resilience, and were supported by the TAFE NSW and Skillset Workforce teams to develop job seeking and work readiness skills. Participants continue to be supported in their job hunting by Skillset Workforce through the Program.

Skills4Trade Programs are running again in Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo and Mudgee in February 2018. These programs are funded for eligible participants and details can be found at Information sessions will be held mid- January, registrations for these can also be done through the website.

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

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