Apprentices essential to keep resource pool going for trades

Apprentice Simon Button and Small Motor Service owner Maurie Paterson.
Apprentice Simon Button and Small Motor Service owner Maurie Paterson. Tom Huntley GLAAPPR

AS REPORTS continue of decreasing local apprenticeships, a small business is following through with what the owner said was a tradie's responsibility.

"It's a resource pool you have to keep feeding," Small Motor Service owner Maurice Paterson said.

"Otherwise all the trade dries up."

Earlier this week local trade union members rallied and highlighted the need for more training of Gladstone youth.

Small Motor Service employee Simon Button, 24, has worked at the business for about three years full-time and is now doing his apprenticeship in outdoor power equipment.

The trade is now a rare focus with Mr Button one of six apprentices in Queensland this financial year.

Once finished he's qualified to work on small motors such as lawn mowers, brush cutters and chainsaws.

It also opens up opportunities to work with fleet maintenance departments of large companies.

Mr Paterson said taking on apprentices was an expensive process with time away from work needed for training plus expenses.

"It is a fairly onerous financial burden," he said.

"In Simon's case, he doesn't qualify to get all the support kids straight out of school would. He's not old enough, either, for mature benefits."

Mr Button, although starting later than most, said a trade would help him with his future.

"It's good to actually get something behind me, a proper qualification," he said.

"At the end of the day, the age doesn't worry me, just having that certificate behind me."

Topics:  apprenticeship businesses gladstone training

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