TEEN Gerrard Bannan says his new four-year apprenticeship has been a long-time coming.
Gerrard, 19, has recently started at Custom Fluid Power in Gladstone as a fitter and turner.
"Straight up, (the apprenticeship) was everything that I hoped for," he said.
"It's a long road ahead."
Gerrard will learn skills on the job and shadow tradesmen but he said in the future, he would also like to continue his training at CQUniversity.
Custom's branch manager Grant Aitken said Gerrard had made a great start.
"Gerrard has shown a lot of initiative," he said.
"Custom is very keen on enhancing the skill level in the town and is passionate about supporting local businesses."
Mr Aitken said Gladstone Area Group Apprentices Ltd was instrumental in securing the apprenticeship.
He said it was the first time the business had sought GAGAL's help to employ new staff.
"From the very first contact they've been proactive about helping us get it over the line," Mr Aitken said.
"Since we've put Gerrard on, the help we've received has been second to none."
GAGAL's CEO Leigh Zimmerlie praised Custom for taking the "huge step" to employ an apprentice.
"We're very, very happy with Custom and more than grateful that they've chosen to come through GAGAL," she said.
"We have had 34 years in the business to date and it's very exciting for us to welcome another apprentice onto our books.
"At the moment, (Australia is) going through a huge skills shortage and it's only going to get worse.
"So without companies such as Custom, who have the foresight to put an apprentice on who'll take four years to train, we will get that skills shortage.
"For GAGAL, it's really exciting. Every apprentice we put on, we feel that it's one step forward for Gladstone in the future."