IT'S going to be the best opportunity for apprentices to learn the skills of their trade, but they need help from industry.
That is the message from Gladstone Area Group Apprentices Ltd (GAGAL) General Manager Kerry Whitaker, who is behind the Banana Engineering Skills Training Centre (The BEST Centre).
“Industry support will be vital to ensure that the community fully benefits from this facility,” Mrs Whitaker said.
“Already we have had fantastic support from CS Energy, Banana Shire Council, Mobbs and Co and other industry in town.
“We are currently waiting for an opportunity to talk to Anglo Coal about partnering arrangements.”
Under the provision of the Investing In Community Education and Training initiative from the Rudd government, GAGAL will construct the trade training centre in Raedon Street, Biloela.
“The BEST Centre will provide the vital off the job training for apprentices in the Callide Dawson valleys.
“This much needed facility will finally give employers and apprentices in the Callide and Dawson valleys real choice when it comes to training.
“Currently all apprentices have to travel away to Gladstone, Rockhampton or Mackay and in some instances Brisbane to access the compulsory college component of their apprenticeship. Now they can stay at home which is firstly more economical for them and secondly much, much safer.”
With the support of the Banana Shire Council, GAGAL's application for a $1.5 million trade training centre was approved and construction will start as soon as possible.
The BEST Centre will comprise an engineering workshop, training rooms and office space and will be operational on July 1, 2010.
The BEST Centre will allow GAGAL to facilitate its successful pre-employment programs for disengaged youth and the Indigenous community giving those disadvantaged in the community an opportunity.
Mayor John Hooper congratulated GAGAL on their success.
“This will be a wonderful asset for the region and I would encourage industry both big and small to support GAGAL in their endeavours to provide community based training and employment opportunities for the young people in our community.”
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