Budding engineers forge pathways to future trade careers

A group of young people have added to their toolkits of job-ready trade skills, assembling and fabricating their very own smokers at TAFE Queensland’s Toowoomba campus recently.

The Queensland Government funded, Group Training Organisation (GTO) Pre-Apprenticeship Program, delivered in partnership with Group Training Organisation (GTO), Golden West Apprenticeships, incorporates hands-on learning complemented by a work placement, and is designed to spark opportunities in trade careers for the young people involved.

TAFE Queensland Engineering Teacher, Dan Brockhurst, said the participants were engaged in the program from the outset, keen to glean industry knowledge and insight from TAFE Queensland’s experience trade trainers.

“All the students were so eager to get involved,” said Mr Brockhurst.

“People love smoking meat, so we chose a welding project that everyone wanted to get stuck into and complete — it’s certainly helped with engagement throughout the program.”

The participants completed their smoker during the seven week Certificate I in Engineering pre-vocational program, in the fully-equipped engineering facility at the Toowoomba campus, preparing them for work placements in the region’s thriving manufacturing industry.

Students gained know-how in a range of areas including how to work safely in a workshop, basic welding, maintaining tools and equipment, team work and communication skills, all while exploring what a career in a trade involves.

“Hopefully many of the participants will go on to an apprenticeship or further training,” said Mr Brockhurst said.

“We’ve already had one student leave the course early as she secured an apprenticeship, which is great news!” he added.

Golden West Apprenticeships CEO, Camille Johnson, said that GTO Pre-apprenticeship Programs are instrumental in connecting apprentices and employers.

“Programs like ours play a vital role in supporting jobseekers across our region to find a future career. Moreover, these programs are equally essential in helping local employers discover their next great apprentice,” said Ms Johnson.

“By bridging the gap between training and employment, we are building a stronger workforce for Queensland’s future.”

TAFE Queensland General Manager of the South West Region, Jenni Butler, said TAFE Queensland’s is proud to partner with Golden West Apprenticeships, helping to prepare job-ready candidates and skilled tradespeople to drive economic growth and future prosperity.

“We’ve seen an increase of almost 30 percent in student enrolments in engineering trade courses across the Darling Downs and South West region since 2020,” she said.

“We’re working together with Golden West Apprenticeships to help meet the demand for trade skills in the region and provide real employment outcomes for local students and employers.”

The Group Training Organisation Pre-Apprenticeship Program is proudly funded by the Queensland Government, which focuses on giving Queenslanders the skills needed for the jobs of the future and aims to maximise apprenticeship completions, through a scaled-down employment-based training arrangement prior to commencing a full apprenticeship.

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