Young workers on track with job program
BRIANNA Lee and Jake Dickinson are two Gladstone youths who have benefited from the State Government’s $165 million Back to Work and free apprenticeships program.
They are employed by 20-year-old business Jenmick Gear Cutting and Engineering where Mr Dickinson is a fitter and turner apprentice and Ms Lee works part time while she completes a Certificate III in Business Administration.
Today, Minister for Small Business, Employment and Training Shannon Fentiman visited Jenmick who have employed five staff under the Back to Work program.
“We know that a ticket to a trade can set you up for life,” Ms Fentiman said.
There have been 5215 apprentices and trainees supported through the Back to Work program across Queensland.
The Back to Work Regional program funds up to $20,000 per employee through the Youth Boost and Employer Support payments.
There is free training for apprentices and trainees under 21 years old across 139 qualifications.
Ms Lee said her favourite part of the job was dealing with clients and suppliers.
“When I’d seen this position advertised I thought it was a great opportunity for me to jump into something new,” she said.
“It definitely has built up my confidence and that will benefit me later in life.”
Mr Dickinson said he had always had an interest in how things were made and how they fitted together.
“This arrangement means I am able to learn on the job and study at the same time,” he said.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said it was “critical” to help small and medium-sized businesses in Gladstone grow.
“We grow the business by putting on employees and particularly apprentices and trainees,” Mr Butcher said.
Jenmick director Sandy Dimitrov said the program allowed this sort of growth for their business.
“We started with only one apprentice in 2000 and we’ve grown over the years and currently employ 15 staff,” she said.
She said employing young people was important to their businesses.
“You have to try and skill them, we employ tradespeople and skill them and give them the qualification.”