Ten trainees have been given the opportunity to gain practical experience to support their Certificate I in Conservation and Ecosystem Management through a special project with Bundaberg Regional Council.
The Reclink trainees have worked with Council to carry out ground works at Maureen Schmitt Park, involving site preparation, weed treatment, tree planting, mulching, and watering.
The Reclink traineeship is part of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program which is funded by the Queensland Government.
Maureen Schmitt Park is an area of cleared land purchased by Council in the 1990s and extensive revegetation has occurred over the years.
The park is named after a local botanist and conservationist who was the driving force behind the early revegetation program and the protection of the area.
Council’s Natural Areas officer Sally Obst said the project was helping to reinstate the original Woongarra Scrub that was native to the area.
“The revegetation works we are undertaking will supplement some of those earlier plantings that were done in the 1990s and the early 2000s,” Sally said.
“Projects like these are important to ensure we have a number of small environmental reserves tucked away in urban areas which are integral to maintaining biodiversity, having habitats and also wildlife corridors within our region.”
Sally said, while the Reclink trainees were providing support to Council, they were also gaining real world skills as part of the project.
“This project provides a wonderful opportunity for these trainees to be on ground, in the real world, using the skills they are learning in their trainee program,” she said.
“The traineeship that Council is assisting with is a really great program and it provides an opportunity for the trainees to learn skills to be ready for the workforce and to move into roles in the future.”
Reclink Supervisor Andrew Buchanan said the participants were learning valuable skills which would assist them in completing their Certificate and provide better opportunities for future employment.
“I was involved in planting this area out years ago and now it has become a bit overgrown, so we are back in here doing some preparation to clear it up and put some fresh plants in,” Andrew said.
“The trainees are loving it! When we pulled up they were a bit overwhelmed I think, looking at the long grass and everything, but as they are getting into the job you can see how proud they are of what they are achieving in here.
“It is very important for the trainees to participate in hands on activities like this as it allows them to learn how to use a whipper snipper or identify weeds and different types of trees which will stand them in good stead for future employment.”
Trainee Xavier Bartlett said he was about halfway through his certificate and hoped to gain employment with the skills he was learning through the experience.
“We have been doing heaps of land care and maintenance of this bush area,” Xavier said.
“We are about six weeks into the certificate, with another six weeks to go and hopefully at the end I can get an apprenticeship or a job.”
The Skilling Queenslanders for Work partners include Community Lifestyle Support Centre at Kalkie and The Salvation Army.
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