Jayden Ramsamy gained a Certificate I in Construction while undertaking structured workplace learning with local employers.
Jayden Ramsamy gained a Certificate I in Construction while undertaking structured workplace learning with local employers. Tony Martin

Trade Start opens doors

JAYDEN Ramsamy was keen to get his foot in the carpentry door.

He was working part time but looking for a fulltime job when he heard about Construction Skills Queensland's (CSQ) Indigenous Trade Start Program.

The 10-week course has allowed him to achieve his dream - he's now a first-year carpentry apprentice for Fergus Builders, and couldn't be happier.

"Trade Start gave me a great opportunity to experience areas of the construction industry and find that carpentry is my passion," Mr Ramsamy said.

"I didn't think that when I started Trade Start last year I would be working in the industry so quickly."

Mr Ramsamy became aware of Trade Start at a CSQ info night held in Mackay and decided to apply for the program.

Through Trade Start Mr Ramsamy gained a Certificate I in Construction while undertaking structured workplace learning with local employers.

"I was just after a fulltime job and the program said if you put the hard yards in there's a possibility of getting a fulltime job out of it, so I just took a stab in the dark and had a go at it," Mr Ramsamy said.

CSQ industry support officer Bob North said the Trade Start Program was designed to get young people, who had left school and/or were unemployed, into a career in the construction industry.

"The idea of it was to (help them) gain a skill and a qualification to help them get into fulltime employment in our industry," Mr North said.

Could this be an answer to the skills shortage that's rife in Mackay?

"It certainly helps," Mr North said.

"The issue we have with the skills shortage is usually because of the lack of skill.

"That's what this Trade Start is all about. It's about acquiring the skill and then moving those people on into the industry."

The program has had some great outcomes to date, kicking off about 14 months ago, Mr North said.

"We've had five of six programs run in the Mackay area and we've have 100% outcomes from those."

That equated to 35 people obtaining fulltime employment, he said.

"And about 85% of those guys have gone into apprenticeships or traineeships," he said.

"And that's what the program is really all about - getting young people, not just into the industry but to actually take up apprenticeships and traineeships."

A beauty of the Trade Start Program, Mr North said, was that it got the "young fellas" to actually go out and have a look.

"One part of the program was 160 hours of work placement ... that's about forming a relationship with the employer," he said.

It's also about the boys going out and seeing what career path actually suits them.

"They get an opportunity to go for three or four trades ... it really helps them make those decisions."

Fergus Builders construction and development manager Ben Hilder was pleased to have Mr Ramsamy on the team and said he was a good fit.

"We are very impressed by Jayden's work ethic and enthusiasm for learning new skills," Mr Hilder said.

"He is showing initiative and is making a valuable contribution to our projects."

Mr Hilder said the company was contacted about the initiative.

"We're always on the look

out for some good young kids coming through ... so we thought we'd put our hand up," he said.

"And Jayden is the result."

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a key to the growth of any industry, Mr Hilder said.

 

Extras

 Businesses within the construction industry are urged to jump on board with the Trade Start Program.

 The programs are run throughout the year on a needs basis.

 For more information about CSQ's Trade Start Program visit csq.org.au or phone 1800 798 488.



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