Chelsea’s found her calling and you can to!

Chelsea’s found her calling and you can to!

Skillset Youth Connect is performing at an all time high following the success of Skillset’s SkillForce360 jobs and skills growth campaign.  In their third quarter results, Youth Connect have exceeded their annual registration target by 16% and already achieved 6% over their annual target for placements! This showcases the number of young people’s lives our team have truly impacted.

Youth Connect consultants provide advice and support through helping clients to realise their personal strengths and unique skills, and further help them to access local training to build upon these skills to then be able to access employment opportunities.


SkillForce360 Case Study: 

When Chelsea came to Skillset Youth Connect, she was at a cross road in terms of training and job hunting.  She had left school quite early due bullying and the associated impact on her mental health.  Time has since passed and at 18 she realises the importance of education and learning new skills.

Chelsea met with her Youth Connect consultant, Alana and they discussed her interests in helping people and making a difference. She expressed an interest in working with people with disability as well as older people in aged care.  She had also been thinking about working in the beauty industry.

Chelsea was looking for career planning advice to explore potential pathways and training options. She also needed assistance with her resume so she could job search.  Chelsea initially decided she would like to enrol in a Certificate III Individual Support, but unfortunately, she needed to focus on her health and was unable to join the course at that time.

After a few months, Chelsea felt well enough to begin job searching and soon secured casual work in retail.  She continued to explore training options with Youth Connect and was eventually assisted to enrol in Certificate III Beauty Services.  She is now powering through her course and plans are in place for her to continue into a Diploma and Nail Technology course.

It’s stories like this that really make us love what we do – helping others to realise their potential and strive for their goals.

If you’re aged between 15-19 and not in school, training or work, Youth Connect offer free advice, support and training to help you take the next step towards your future.

Talk to a Youth Connect Consultant on 1300 853 525.

Good News for Regional Unemployment Rates as Jobs Campaign Reaches Target

Good News for Regional Unemployment Rates as Jobs Campaign Reaches Target

Kym Hilliard from Skillset Workforce, Skillset general manager Jane McWilliam, Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo, Heath Wright and Cameron Gallop with Hort Enterprises managing director Craig Hort.


Skillset’s 2018/19 jobs and skills campaign “SkillForce360” has reached its target by placing 428 people into apprenticeships, employment or training across central and western NSW.

Following on from the successful 2016 and 2017 “Pledge250” jobs campaign, Skillset raised the bar to 360 with this year’s campaign focusing on skills as well as jobs.

The campaign has hit its target early, as news from the Department of Jobs and Small Business reports positive changes to unemployment rates in Central West and Far West Orana. Since January 2016, the unemployment rate has dropped from 7.2 per cent to 5.5 per cent in the Central West. The Far West Orana regions are experiencing even lower rates of total unemployment. Since January 2017, the unemployment rate has decreased from 5.5 per cent to 2.9 per cent.

The national unemployment rate currently sits at 4.9 per cent and despite this encouraging statistic, youth unemployment remains high at 11.5 per cent nationally.  However, Central West and Far West Orana have some of the lowest youth unemployment rates in regional NSW with current rates at 8.7 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

In the 15 campaign months since November 2016, Skillset has seen 754 local people transition into apprenticeships or other jobs. Throughout the 2018/19 campaign 187 people have pursued training through our Youth Connect, Skills4Trade and Upskilled Mentoring Program. Leading industry placements were Mining, Construction, Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries making up 58 per cent of all industry placements.

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo said it is encouraging to see the low unemployment rates across the Central West and Far West Orana regions. “While there are many contributing factors, we are proud to be playing our part by creating initiatives like SkillForce360 which contribute to the economic well-being of our regional communities. The Honorable Tanya Plibersek MP and Shadow Minister for Education and Training cited in her speech to the Universities Australia Conference that regional and remote Australians consistently have a much lower education attainment rate than urban Australia therefore it’s important to providing skills development and employment opportunities to increase social and educational mobility and economic growth.”

Skillset continues to focus on the importance of providing skills and employment for young people. Mr Randazzo said, “Whilst the SkillForce360 campaign ended on March 31, our vision doesn’t end there. We encourage local businesses to partner with us to provide opportunities for the youth of our region to ‘future-proof’ their business by ensuring they grow the skills base they need for the workforce of the future.”

4 valuable lessons learnt after school

4 valuable lessons learnt after school

With the retirement age expected to rise to 67 by 2026-28, young people will soon work for 50 years or more. So it’s important to find what you love doing and make it into something that you’ll be happy spending half a century working on.

It’s an overwhelming thought.

Have you ever thought that perhaps expecting a 17-year-old to choose the profession they want to commit to and the courses that will get them there, is perhaps too much for young, inexperienced school leavers?

Whether you leave in Year 11 or 12, you’re about to enter the world outside school and start making moves towards your dream career. A lot of students find themselves overwhelmed with the burden of choice, because there are just so many options unexpectedly available.

Late last year at a local all-girls high school careers day, our Skillset representatives, Laura Cole and Jill Notzon attended as guest speakers, discussing post-school pathways and alternative career options with the girls.

The greatest takeaway from the event was that young people like to know that what they’re doing has a purpose and outcome. Working towards something of interest gives them a sense of direction and commitment.

Skillset Workforce Recruitment Manager, Jill Notzon, told students,
“it’s important to stay calm and think clearly about what your career goals are and how you’re going to achieve these. There are so many different pathways you can follow to achieve what you want, so ensure you research the industry and reach out to those who are already working in the field.”  

When asked what she would’ve done differently, Skillset Marketing Coordinator, Laura Cole said,
“I would’ve focussed more on balance. There’s so much pressure placed on obtaining top grades, but you’re also expected to gain life experience, and work to earn money, but you’re also required to be happy and enjoy life. There’s so much pressure. Take time for yourself. Enjoy being young. Study hard, but reward yourself and ensure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people.”

4 top tips for school leavers:

  • Research career pathways – have an understanding of what your options are. Don’t feel confined to the university pathway if this doesn’t align with your goals.
  • Get into a routine – to prepare yourself for professional life, be sure to get out of bed at a reasonable time and fill your days with productivity, be that in the form of obtaining qualifications or searching for work. Don’t let those extended breaks set you in a bad pattern which you will struggle to get out of.
  • Develop your network – the power of networking is often overlooked.  Establishing a professional network will put you in good stead for the future. Surrounding yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging will also ensure you have good advice and motivators wherever you go.
  • Gain experience – get involved in the industry you’re interested in! Whether this be volunteering or requesting an internship type position at an organisation you aspire to work for. This experience will improve your employability and help you in developing the hard and soft skills needed for your professional journey.

Could you use a hand in preparing your resume or finding your dream job? Contact the Skillset Workforce Team to see how they can help you!



Skillset Senior College Bathurst campus officially opened their much anticipated multi-purpose sports court this week to enhance the development of the college’s PDHPE program, with the intention of bringing greater opportunities for active participation amongst the school community.

Skillset Senior College Principal and Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo says the project was independently funded by Skillset Senior College and is another addition to the college’s expanding sports program.

Mr Randazzo says, “this fully, self-funded project will allow for the staff and students to compete in various sports which will elevate the quality of education and encourage participation for students. The school continues to enhance the college sports program in particular every second week the school comes together for a barbeque and sports afternoon. It’s wonderful to see our entire school community come together and the enjoyment it brings to the students and staff.”

Skillset Senior College operate within a student-centred model, focusing on the individual needs of its students. The PDHPE program at Skillset Senior College is to assist students with an understanding of holistic health to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

Skillset Senior College PDHPE teacher, Jono Hosking, says, “the multi-purpose sports court will enhance the students’ application and participation in a range of sports including tennis, basketball, netball and handball. This program is critical in fostering students wellbeing, improving communication and team working skills as well as improving overall fitness and physical health.”

The construction of the multi-court reinforces the college’s vision to offer first class facilities to all students. There have been a number of additions at the Bathurst campus including the federally funded Association of Independent Schools Block Grant Authority covered outdoor learning area, a small farm, access to a student kitchen as well as significant classroom improvements to provide a well-resourced physical learning environment within which students can grow personally and thrive educationally.










Laycee’s guide to surviving life after high school

Laycee Covington came into Skillset reception in November 2016. She was referred to Youth Connect after just having finished her HSC, where she was registered and supported by her consultant, Sarah Bradbury.

Laycee had no idea what her next steps following high school – she was seeking job search advice and wanted to know what training was available for her. At this stage, there were numerous pathways available and the decisions were endless:
• Laycee had been thinking about applying for university but claimed her school teachers had told her she wouldn’t achieve the ATAR needed and, that a university degree wasn’t realistic.
However, she was keen to explore available education pathways so that she could expand her future career options.
• Laycee had been working at McDonalds but her role there was soon finishing.
• She was also wanting to move out of home.

Sarah worked intensively with Laycee to identify her skills and interests and focussed on numerous career planning activities. Laycee had a profound interest in computers, so thought about related career paths in IT, computer science or the creative industries.

She was also interested in nursing, law and criminal justice studies, but had no idea about where these courses could take her, so Sarah assisted her to understand each of the industries, the various jobs available and how she could commence through VET and one-day progress in to University if she still wanted to.

Laycee initially decided nursing might be the best option for her, she was then introduced to both TAFE and CSU to discuss nursing pathways. She explored a few other ideas at TAFE but eventually decided on working towards her Certificate III in Screen and Media as she was drawn to the idea of eventually doing a Bachelor of Media Communication.

Laycee says, “I started working towards my Certificate III Screen and Media but after a couple of months withdrew as I began casual work in the finishing room at DEVRO. I needed an income in order to support myself and felt as though I couldn’t do this while studying at TAFE.”

Sarah kept in touch with Laycee and after a few months, Laycee contacted Sarah to say that she wasn’t enjoying the work and wanted help to go back to study or find another job. Laycee was then guided in exploring study options and at one point was keen to relocate to Wollongong, so Sarah explored TAFE and university courses in the Illawarra.

During this time, Laycee was interviewed by Skillset for a Business Traineeship, but was not successful. She continued in her casual role at DEVRO while exploring other work and study ideas. In August, 2017 Sarah let Laycee know about an IT traineeship advertised by Skillset. The traineeship host employer just so happened to be DEVRO. With great excitement, Laycee applied and was thankfully successful in this application.
In Laycee’s final year of her traineeship, DEVRO experienced some organisational change which she had been commended for by her supervisors for the degree of commitment, professionalism and loyalty shown towards the company.

Despite the initial setbacks and belief that Laycee would never excel in tertiary study, she received excellent results throughout the entire traineeship, was an early completion of the course and as a result of her workplace performance, has been offered a full time role at DEVRO.

Laycee says, “I’m proud of my achievements and TAFE results, I achieved more than I thought I ever could. I’m interested in now completing further study and completing my Bachelor in IT.”


Based on Laycee’s post school journey, she has made some recommendations for high school leavers:
Explore what support services, such as Youth Connect are available to you – these services can really help you to reflect on your long term goals and focus on the best pathway to achieving these.
Look for every opportunity to improve yourself and gain more knowledge – whether you’re in causal work or a traineeship, always take on extra tasks in your workplace to gain greater experience and ask questions for clarification.
Don’t be afraid to step back and change direction – if you feel as though your first decision didn’t turn out the way you wanted, or you aren’t engaged with the course, make the change to something that is of interest.
There’s no rush – don’t feel pressured to follow one particular pathway just because it’s what the majority of your school peers are doing. If you’re not sure what you want to do, take some time out to assess your options and decide what works best for you and where you want to be.