SkillForce500 is officially finished! See what we achieved!

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SkillForce500 is officially finished! See what we achieved!

BY Skillset 03 Apr, 2020

Each year, Skillset drives a campaign to increase employment and skills development across regional NSW. After the success of SkillForce360, we increased our target with a goal to place 500 individuals into employment, education and training between October 2019 and March 2020. We called this campaign, SkillForce500!

Skillset reached its target five days early, engaging a total of 512 people into employment, education and skills development across central and western NSW during the six-month campaign period.

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo said it’s more important than ever to support local business. “Many small businesses across Australia are currently feeling the impacts of Coronavirus COVID-19. Regional businesses are admirably agile, but it’s important that we as a community get behind them to support them through this challenging time. Our SkillForce500 campaign is just one of the ways we’re working with businesses through ongoing skills development.”

Skillset run a jobs and skills campaign each year and in the 21 campaign months since November 2016, when Skillset commenced its inaugural campaign, they have seen 1,248 individuals transition into apprenticeships, traineeships, employment, and training.

Throughout the campaign, over 120 businesses committed to providing employment opportunities and skilling local people.

SkillForce500 new starter, Jayde Keir, commenced a Certificate IV in Health Services – Medical Practice Assisting Traineeship at Loxley House in Bathurst in January. “I’ve always wanted to enter the medical sector and after taking a gap year off, this traineeship was advertised and I applied immediately. I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to be able to study, while also gaining employment and hands-on training with such a supportive team of people.”

“Loxley House ensures that I’m trained in every aspect of the practice – allowing me to work alongside the Nurse in addition to medical administration and reception duties. This is the type of training and skills development that you just don’t receive with study alone,” Jayde says.

Dubbo Business Owner, Jason Thorn says, “Central West Diesel and Hydraulics joined SkillForce500 because of the value it brings to the wider region. Skills development is important in our region as we need more qualified tradesmen – good tradesmen are hard to find and apprenticeships give people the opportunity to become competent in their chosen trade, through the balance of study and hands-on training”.

SkillForce500 new starter, Jesse Dennis, commenced a Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology with Central West Diesel and Hydraulics in February. “I’ve always been interested in the mechanical industry, but the opportunity that this apprenticeship has brought me has provided a greater knowledge of the mechanical trade, more responsibilities and a broader range of skills in working on various types of vehicles.”

Mudgee business owner, Hot Engineering Director, Hamish Bryant, is a former Skillset Metal Fabrication Apprentice. “As a business it’s important to give back to the local community. The SkillForce500 campaign presented a great opportunity for us to support the training and skills development of the next generation in our trade,” he says.

SkillForce500 new starter, Dustin Orth, commenced a Certificate III in Engineering Metal Fabrication – Boilermaker Apprenticeship with Hot Engineering in February. “An apprenticeship has been a beneficial way of learning. Combining the hands-on industry training with study has allowed me to really immerse myself in the trade.”

During the SkillForce500 campaign, Orange-based Hort Enterprises placed nine apprentices and trainees. With a passion for skills development, Hort’s have been partnered with Skillset since 1995. Since then, Hort Enterprises have trained over 150 apprentices and trainees. Hort Enterprises’ Administration Manager, Chris Kelly says, “at Hort Enterprises, we recognise the importance of supporting the development of young people and our communities. Skills development is just one way in which we can contribute to the growth of both our business and our region”.

SkillForce500 new starter, Cameron Geddes, commenced a Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (Boilermaker) apprenticeship in January. “This apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to experience working a full-time job while gaining new skills which has further improved my ability to adapt and learn new things.”

Skillset continues to focus on the importance of providing skills and employment for local people. Mr Randazzo said, “The SkillForce500 campaign may end on March 31, but our vision doesn’t end there. We encourage local businesses to partner with us to provide opportunities for the people of our region and to continue growing the skills base of their business to ensure our region is prepared for future demand.”

To find out more information about what we achieved, take a look at our snapshot.

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Australia Skillset would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work.
We are honoured to be on the ancestral lands of those whose cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history. We pay respect to the Elders, past, present and to the younger generation of the community who will be the future leaders in years to come.