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GEA trainees getting prepared for the real world

GREEN THUMBS: CQU lead horticulture teacher Julie Barry with GEA trainees (from left) Donovan Klein, Jed Ware, Scott Gibbs and Susan Fitton. BELOW: Julie Barry teaching GEA trainee Scott Gibbs how to propagate Australian natives.
GREEN THUMBS: CQU lead horticulture teacher Julie Barry with GEA trainees (from left) Donovan Klein, Jed Ware, Scott Gibbs and Susan Fitton. BELOW: Julie Barry teaching GEA trainee Scott Gibbs how to propagate Australian natives. Contributed

UNEMPLOYMENT is an issue that's been relegated to the past for Gladstone Engineering Alliance trainees.

The unemployment rate for the Fitzroy region, which includes Gladstone and Rockhampton, currently sits at 6.7 per cent, but GEA trainees are bucking that trend with its 2017 Skilling Queenslanders for Work trainee programs.

The SQW program focuses on assisting people who are unemployed to connect into employment and offer them a chance to re-skill for a new occupation.

The program has been extremely successful with those finding full-time employment surpassing 80 per cent according to GEA project and employment coordinator Shana Gelin.

"Our current SQW Community Work Skills Traineeships program of business, construction and conservation and land management trainees is going well and we're confident of obtaining full-time work for most if not all of the trainees,” Ms Gelin said.

"All of the trainees are doing a Certificate 1 at CQU in one of the three training areas and during their traineeship they are also placed with a not-for-profit community partner to get relevant work experience that will enable them to contribute in future employment.”

CQU lead horticulture teacher Julie Barry teaching GEA trainee Scott Gibbs how to propagate Australian natives.
CQU lead horticulture teacher Julie Barry teaching GEA trainee Scott Gibbs how to propagate Australian natives. Contributed

CQU lead horticulture teacher Julie Barry is currently working with some of the GEA trainees in obtaining their Certificate 1 in Conservation and Land Management.

"I'm teaching the trainees about chemicals used in the horticultural industry, how to identify plant species, and the re-vegetation of native species,” Ms Barry said.

"The GEA traineeships are a good foot in the door for trainees working within conservation and land management with organisations like the Gladstone Regional Council, Gladstone Area Water Board and the Gladstone Ports Corporation very interested in employing people with the right skills.”

GEA trainee Scott Gibbs said working in and being trained in conservation and land management is exactly the career path he wanted.

"I'm a qualified fitter and turner but work is hard to find; however, I really want to move into horticulture and the GEA traineeship has been really good in putting me on that career path,” Mr Gibbs said.

"I would really love to be a groundskeeper or even a park ranger and the connections that I'm currently making through the GEA have been great and through those connections I believe I'll find full-time work before the end of the year.”

Topics:  gea gladstone engineering alliance horticulture skilling queenslanders for work skilling queenslanders for work program traineeships



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