Ten Bundaberg high school students are fast tracking their careers into the building and construction industry thanks to Trade Ready, a pre-employment program run by Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) and the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
The six week course includes three weeks of face-to-face learning followed by three weeks of work experience covering job readiness and work preparation, selected construction short courses, industry-led work experience and the opportunity to connect directly with future employers.
Participating students from Bundaberg State High School, Shalom College, Bundaberg North State High School and Kepnock State High School are now transitioning to the site-placement section of the course where they will get hands-on experience in their preferred trade including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, tiling and plastering.
HIA Executive Director Toni Bull said the program had been running for four years and this year's group of Bundaberg students were doing extremely well.
“We were approached earlier this year regarding a program here in Bundaberg and we've had four schools involved through the Link and Launch program as well,” Toni said.
“The program itself actually starts with an off-site training program and we go through a number of units of competency and some life skills – how to do resumes, life skills like finance, food and fitness to ensure they've got longevity onsite.
“Then once they finish those two weeks they come out and do 120 hours of work experience onsite.
“We've got some really good support from the employers here in Bundaberg as well and hopefully, we'll have a really good outcome at the end of it with … apprenticeship placements.”
Shalom College Year 12 student Baiden Howard said the experience had been a good one and he was now considering a career as an electrician.
“I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after school so I saw this and took the opportunity to see what I like and give it a go,” Baiden said.
“I’m learning lots and enjoying it… [seeing] everyone working and making the houses is pretty cool, all the industries combining.”
Bundaberg State High School Year 12 student Jared Orpin said the program had made a big difference in helping him decide what to do after school and that he was interested in pursuing cabinet making and joinery.
“Graduation is around the corner and I needed to see what options I have for my future,” Jared said.
“I would definitely encourage other students to take part in this.
“If you’re confused about what you want then definitely do this so you can get a hands on first look into it.”