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14 June, 2020

Students get head start

Through exams and assignments some Mareeba State High School students are going a step further to securing their future by undertaking school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

By Rhys Thomas

Through exams and assignments some Mareeba State High School students are going a step further to securing their future by undertaking school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships give students a leg up by providing them with workforce experience better enabling them to succeed and get a head start after graduating.

Working one day a week in Mareeba businesses, Year 11 student James Gargan and Year 12 student Leila Phillips are able to learn valuable skills, all while earning a bit of pocket money.

James is undertaking a Certificate III in Engineering – Boiler Maker – and is currently employed through Jackos Welding.

“Starting my apprenticeship while still at school gives me a head start on my trade and my favourite day of the week is my trade day,” he said.

A school-based apprenticeship/traineeship provides valuable employer contacts, work references, formal qualifications and most importantly, hands on first hand experience.

Jack Pedersen, James’s employer and owner/manager of Jackos Welding believes that a school-based apprenticeship is a handy way for students to start in the workforce.

“The main benefit of employing a school-based apprentice is having a chance to train someone passionate about the trade,” he said.

“They can come up through the ranks and be a handy worker for us in a few years’ time.

“This future proofs my business.”

By undertaking a Certificate III in Business through Cotter’s Aquatic Swim and Fitness, Leila can get a head start in her career and one step closer to her dream, owning her own business.

“Starting my Traineeship in year 11 means I get a start on my career early,” she said.

“My dream is to start my own business so learning these skills now will be a great help.”

Students at Mareeba State High School are always looking for a chance to get out of the classroom and into an environment they can see themselves working in years to come.

Government incentives may also apply for businesses interested in hiring an apprentice or trainee.

Any local businesses interested in this kind of program are welcome to contact Mareeba State High School Industry Liaison Officer, Linda Clarke on 4086 2703 or local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider, Busy At Work, who can assist businesses with eligibility criteria and the sign-up of their new worker


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