23 August, 2021
National Skills Week highlights Mackays training talent
The rise in trainee and apprenticeship numbers is showing the Palaszczuk Government’s record investment of more than $1 billion in training and skills is paying off, with people in Mackay getting the qualifications they need for the jobs of the future.
Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said ‘RE-THINK’, the theme of this year’s National Skills Week, encouraged Queenslanders to take a good look at the many and varied careers available through vocational training.
“Wherever you are in Queensland, you deserve the opportunity to get world class training to help you get the right job,” Minister Farmer said.
“There has never been a more important time to do this, and that’s why the Palaszczuk Government put investing in training and skills at the heart of our $14.2 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.”
Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, said the government was supporting young people in Mackay with free training.
“We have free apprenticeships and free TAFE for under 25s across 165 priority skills areas including construction, health, and disability support services,” Ms Gilbert said.
“And the figures show that it’s paying off: 45,700 apprentices and trainees started in the last financial year, which is a huge 56.6% rise on the year before.
“That includes over 1,600 right here in Mackay.
“Queensland is also the national leader in school-based apprenticeships and traineeships with 57% of the national total.
“That’s why we have invested over $220 million into renewing and revitalising TAFEs across Queensland since 2017.
“And from this year, we are investing another $100 million, including $7.5M to expand the Ooralea Trade Training Centre.
“This will ensure our apprentices and trainees have world class facilities to train in and get the skills they need to change their lives.”
One of those people is Letitia Briggs. Letitia completed her traineeship, a Certificate II in Engineering, at BHP Mackay. Upon completion, she was offered a role and recently commenced full time work at Saraji mine. Letitia is now working towards becoming a diesel fitter.
“My goal was to find a career path that would provide a better life for myself and my son,” Letitia said.
“I chose to enter the resources sector because of the career growth and development opportunities available in the industry.”
Minister Farmer said vocational education and training was vital to Queensland’s economy.
“We know that if you get the right training, you’re more likely to get the right job,” Minister Farmer said.
“I’d encourage every single person reading this to go and look up all the rewarding, lucrative and prestigious career opportunities available through vocational education and training.”
National Skills Week, which runs from August 23 to August 29, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the power of vocational education and training and the wide range of qualifications that lead to rewarding careers now and into the near future.