Apprenticeships and Training 2018

A look into apprenticeships and training in the Narrabri Shire

Trainee Assistant in Nursing Trinity Westman, left, checks the blood pressure of her ‘patient’ Registered Nurse (and also a midwifery student) Renice Baker and Nurse Unit Manager Suellen Stove.

Every country town needs to offer its young people the opportunity for a career pathway in their home community if the community is to prosper and grow.

Nowadays, many young people are returning to Narrabri Shire to live after training away at universities and in trades.

But Narrabri Shire employers are traditionally active in offering our young people the chance to remain here and undertake their training in a wide range of jobs. The spread of traineeships and apprenticeships is wide across trades and other occupations from nursing to mechanics, gardening to pilot training, agriculture and energy industries.

Local employers are supporting their community and our young people.

Local businesses offer traineeships and apprenticeships which will prepare young people for their future.

The training they receive here, in occupations across the spectrum, is equal to and frequently better than they could obtain in a larger and less personal environment.

The young trainees have a built-in local support network of family and friends and often know their employer before they begin work, a reassurance for anyone starting out in a new job.

Council’s young trainees

Narrabri Shire Council has recently hired four new employee through its trainee and apprenticeship program to support local young people in their career development and succession plan for Council’s future workforce.

These positions will ensure Council’s workforce remains highly skilled and able to meet the future needs of the community.

“We are very proud to be supporting young people in Narrabri Shire and providing them the opportunity to work in local government,” said general manager Stewart Todd.


Narrabri Shire apprentices and trainees: Roseannah Holcombe, Kaleb Druce, Brandon Petrie and Kayla Rush.

“A number of years ago I was encouraged to enter into local government and I have enjoyed the challenge, working in many areas including IT, parks and landcare, governance, council business and now general manager of Narrabri Shire Council,” Mr Todd said.

An apprentice or traineeshp with local government provides a wonderful opportunity for young people to obtain employment in their home town and offers many pathways to pursue any of the many different areas of employment within local government.

The new trainees will have the opportunity to learn the practical side of local government by working alongside experienced staff and will be supported by council through the education component of their position.

“Working in local government especially in a regional location can offer a very wide range of career

opportunities and I encourage our trainees to explore the many different employment opportunities local government can provide - who knows any one of these trainees may find their future career right here in Narrabri Shire,” Mr Todd said.

Council’s current apprentices and trainees include Brandon Petrie who is a second year apprentice mechanic who began with Council in 2016, Kaleb Druce, a first year apprentice mechanic who commenced in December 2017, Roseannah Holcombe a trainee gardener who began in December 2017 and Kayla Rush started in January 2018 as a trainee IT support officer.

Training - a way forward for Jameah and Alan

Leaving school can leave you unsure of what to do next with your life.

Alan Owens.

For Narrabri locals Jameah Toomey and Alan Owens, upskilling with Joblink Plus Training has led to new careers.

Jameah left school in Year 10 and took a job at McDonalds, before landing a job at a dental practice.

“There was a dental assistant position at the surgery, but it was only part-time. I couldn’t get enough hours.”

When a position for a trainee administration assistant came up at Joblink Plus, Jameah jumped at it, and is now undertaking training while working.

For Alan, there were a lot of personal struggles in his life, and these challenges led him to leave school before finishing Year 12, working doing letter box drops.

“There was a lot of stress.”

Alan undertook a partial Certificate III in Hospitality through Joblink Plus Training.

Jameah Toomey

After completing the classroom course, Alan landed a position at the Adelong Motel in Narrabri where he’ll finish his qualification.

Alan and Jameah are building on their skills, and progressing into further training.

Jameah is now moving on to a Certificate IV in Business, while Alan is looking to move into management.

“I’ll probably do a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management,” he said.

Joblink Plus Training Lead trainer Leesa Mercer, who trained Alan, said: “We can get anything organised for students. We bend over backwards for them.”

Training for a trade with local mentors

Glass and Glazing apprentice Tyler Arnold at work with GCJ Glass tradesman Ben Brien.

Narrabri Shire trainees and apprentices have the great advantage of learning locally. Their qualified trainers and mentors are often people they know who take a personal interest in their trainee’s progress. GCJ Glass apprentice Tyler Arnold, has completed his studies at Narrabri High School and is working towards his trade certificate in Glass and Glazing.

Tyler began with GCJ Glass at the end of last year and when he completes his four year apprenticeship he will be qualified as a tradesman.

At GCJ Glass he will have the opportunity to learn all aspects of the trade in residential and commercial glazing applications.

Gain confidence, learn life skills

If you know of someone between 17-25, who may be a bit worried about their future or not really sure of what they want to do or even how to go about it, then ask about the free “Work it Out” training program for people aged between 17-25.

Ask them to imagine being confident and on the path to a fulfilling way of life, with some extra skills to cope with that.

Imagine how that would be?

We are lucky to have funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, and Dominos Pizza, to run a second “Work it Out” course in Narrabri. This fun and interactive program provides the skills you need to gain confidence in choosing your career path, make decisions, deal with difficult people, deal with stress and improve your communication skills.The program includes one full day of skills and working out your personal style, with a one-to-one follow-up

session to help sort out your goal-setting plans.

A workbook is supplied so participants can reflect back on the topics and be a reminder of what they have learnt about themselves and what their strengths are.

Previous participants have commented on how beneficial the program is and how it opened their eyes to the number of possibilities in front of them, along with the skills gained to tackle them head-on.

The program is run by Helen Dugdale who has a history of running personal development workshops, helping people to sort out their strengths, skills and goals.

Local people with expertise in the various topics will be attending as guest presenters.

Personal Finance planning from Stuart Southwell will also be a feature of the program.

Full catering is provided for the day, which goes from 9am till 6pm and ends with a celebratory pizza dinner.

Training skills for the trainer - learn by doing with BCA

Learning to ride a bicycle is something most of us achieved in our childhood.

But have you ever wondered about how riding a bike is something that we never forget?

Learning to ride a bike is something we learn by doing – something that no amount of written instruction or ‘talking-you-through-it’ could prepare you for.

It’s known as experiential learning, and it’s how you’ll begin your learning journey at BCA national training group workshops from day one, in fact, from the moment you step through our front door.

We create a positive and encouraging training environment in which every participant is welcomed and valued for what’s motivated them to join us and what they can contribute to our collective learning journey.

This highly participative course is brought to you by Sydney-based BCA National - winner of the 2017 NSW Large Training Provider of the Year.

You’ll learn on your feet while you take part in our breakthrough training program which uses a holistic assessment approach and blended delivery model.

The engaging workshops will provide you with the underpinning knowledge and practical application to your course that will set you up for success in completing your training.

You’ll be guided through face-to-face learning activities that will assist you to complete the required assessment tasks in your own time.

You’ll take part in a series of two-day workshops once a month beginning February through May 2018.

* Self-paced learning with a choice of either online or a hard copy resources

* A fortnightly coaching conference call between workshops to help support your learning.

This course will give you the skills you need to: * Identify, understand and interpret training packages.

* Design customised learning pathways for target audiences.

* Develop learning materials, assessment instruments and tools.

* Develop presentation skills and facilitate learning.

* Design, develop, implement and review a learning program as per national standards.

* Assess and accommodate learners with low language, literacy and numeracy skills.

* Understand what constitutes compliant documentation in the VET sector.

This course is ideal for: * Existing workplace trainers/assessors.

* Existing trainers/assessors in Registered Training Organisations.

* Existing workers looking to become workplace trainers/assessors.

* Existing workers looking to become trainers/assessors in RTOs.

* Individuals wishing to learn more about adult education.

A recent graduate who now holds the trainer and assessor qualification had this to say about the training:

“A big part of being a facilitator is knowing how to be a winning presenter - how to ‘own the room’.

“A lot of people cringe at the idea of speaking in front of a group, in formal and even informal situations.

“Yet speaking publicly, commanding the attention of any audience, is something everyone can learn how to do.

“The trainer and assessor workshops were outstanding - like nothing I’ve experienced in training before.

“I bonded with my classmates and have formed lasting friendships with many of them through our training.

“Our facilitator Denise Archie, fostered an environment of mutual respect and this helped us all get over ourselves and just get on with it.

“I can’t speak highly enough of this course. I’ve felt guided and supported and it’s not only taught me what I need to know to be a successful trainer and assessor working in industry, it’s taught me a lot about myself.”

ATAC - training regional NSW

“For over 15 years ATAC has been working with employers to train their staff all over NSW,” Sam Crebert ATAC chief executive said.

“As one of the largest regional Registered Training Organisations in NSW, we’ve been focused on providing the most effective and inspiring training for both businesses and individuals,” Mr Crebert said.

“Responding to the needs of clients has always been our philosophy, tailoring our approach to where they operate and what they do.

“Based in Tamworth and focused on regional and remote NSW, ATAC has trained right down to the Victorian border, up to the Queensland border, out west to Broken Hill, and east into the Hunter,” he said.

“Business and hospitality has always been in demand, but over the past 12 months we’ve seen increased demand for civil construction and local government training.

“In a few weeks, we’ll be sending trainers out to Goulburn and Cobar – if you need training, we’ll come to you.

“We value our reputation and we’ve been rewarded with some amazing feedback, from word of mouth referrals that builds our business, to having finalists in the NSW Training awards for the past three years.

“Ask around – chances are you’ll find someone who’s had training through us.

“If you’re looking to upskill your workers anywhere in regional NSW call us now on 1300 306 597 and we’ll work with you to meet your training needs.”

Enhancing the future of our local youth

Founded in 2002, the Narrabri Education Foundation is a member of the Country Education Foundation of Australia, a national not-for-profit organisation with deductible gift recipient status.

NEF is a highly regarded community organisation that provides financial assistance and encouragement to Narrabri and Wee Waa youth so that they are able to achieve their post high school education, training and vocation goals.

NEF is funded through private and corporate donations and local fundraising events, and does not receive government funding.

Run by a committee of local volunteers, NEF to date has assisted over 150 young school leavers from the Narrabri Shire as they have transitioned out of high school into further education, training, apprenticeships and traineeships.

”Developing our rural, resource and service industries is now largely based on the work of skilled professionals, researchers, trade and technical workers and capable government administrators,” NEF chairman Horst Merten said.

“The role of the NEF in supporting our young people in tertiary training for their future work is a vital link to ensuring the development and economic health of our Shire.”

For young Australians living in rural and remote areas, the substantially greater costs of accessing further education and vocation opportunities, as compared to their metropolitan counterparts, is often prohibitive.

Many of the young people the NEF provides financial assistance and encouragement to would not have been able to achieve their goals due to financial constraints.

For the rest, it helps relieve the financial strain on themselves and their families and conveys a strong message of encouragement from the community.

Vice chair Rebecca Thistlethwaite joined the committee in 2015.

“The NEF committee is made up of people of various ages and experiences. Over the past year we have seen a number of younger members join which is encouraging, and demonstrates the invested interest this demographic has in the future of the Narrabri Shire,” she said.

Local personality Trudy Staines has been a member of the Foundation for nearly 10 years.

“Contrary to what many people may believe, the NEF is not solely interested in assisting people going to university,” Miss Staines said.

“We need to reinforce that students undertaking any vocation or tertiary study are eligible to apply for a grant.”

Grants typically range from $500 to $4000.

To ensure accountability and good governance, students do not receive cash grants, rather the NEF reimburses students for agreed costs that are directly linked to their achieving their educational goals.

Wee Waa local Curston Small is a 2018 NEF grant recipient.

Miss Small has completed a traineeship in financial services with C&W, and will be undertaking a degree in accounting, business and international studies at UNE as part of a cadetship.

“I heard of NEF from a staff member in my office, who suggested I should apply,” Miss Small said.

“NEF has helped a lot with the grant and with advice I have received.

“It is good to know I have the support of the surrounding community to help me on my way to UNE and thanks to NEF, I have one less thing to worry about due to the grant they have generously offered,” she said.

Her advice for future applicants?

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and see what is actually on offer in your community because it will pay off to ask.

“I was quite frightened going into the interview and there was no need because everyone in the room was there to welcome me, and gave me the advice I needed.

“So really don’t be afraid to ask and be brave - it won’t hurt to try.”

Tyson Gilmore, Travis Dixon and Nathan Trindall have also received grants to assist with costs associated with their apprenticeships, such as travel and accommodation in Tamworth to attend TAFE, and trade tools.

The NEF committee meets monthly.

If you are interested in donating to the Foundation, or joining the committee, please contact [email protected] for more information.

A great opportunity for local students and local businesses

High School based traineeships and apprenticeships allow students the opportunity to be the local business staff and possibly even the owners of the future.

The program enables students to successfully an industry qualification while completing their Higher School Certificate.

For businesses looking to plan ahead, the option of training a Narrabri High School Year 10, 11 or 12 student could be the answer to securing future staff.

The innovative program -School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships - is open to businesses in Narrabri.

Narrabri High School is leading the way with this scheme which ensures students can have a career path that may or may not lead them to tertiary education. University is not for everybody and the program gives kids the chance to stay at home and build a career.

We can train and retrain our richest resource - our young people.

There are generous financial incentives for businesses to take on trainees or apprentices while they are still at school.

The program involves the trainee or apprentice working one day a week in the business to make up the requisite training hours.

Students catch up on their school work with dedicated one on one tutoring back in the classroom.

It is an ideal way for businesses to assess whether the trainee is suited to the role and also the trainee will know if the job is the one he or she will pursue.