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Paul Ashford: Mature-aged electrical apprentice

Taking on a new career as a matured-aged electrical apprentice was the next logical step for Chinchilla based worker, Paul Ashford. 

Paul was working with a local Chinchilla firm doing a mostly welding and scheduled maintenance work in the coal seam gas industry when his employer offered up the opportunity to complete an electrical apprenticeship.  “I was thrilled when my employer suggested an electrical apprenticeship.  The apprenticeship allowed me continue working with my employer, but gave me the chance to get my electrical trade certificate” said Paul. 

Paul commenced his electrical apprenticeship in 2015, joining a growing number of mature-aged workers seeking out a career as a tradesperson.   In Australia, anyone over the age of 21 years at the commencement of their apprenticeship is considered a matured-aged or adult apprentice. 

“We are seeing an increase in mature-aged jobseekers looking to complete an apprenticeship.  These people who have generally been working alongside tradespeople for a number of years and have decided to get their trade certificate” said Camille Johnson, CEO of Golden West Apprenticeships.  “Mature-aged apprentices have a range of experiences and skills they have gained throughout their working life and are an asset to employers from day one of their apprenticeship”. 

However, for Paul, the downturn of the coal seam gas industry saw work dry up for his previous employer and his apprenticeship was suspended.  Paul continued working locally in Chinchilla, however saw a position advertised for an “out of trade” electrical apprentice with Golden West Apprenticeships.  “The position with Golden West allowed me to pick up where I had left off and I was happy to be able to continue with my apprenticeship” said Paul. 

Golden West Apprenticeships supports out of trade apprentices back into their apprenticeships and currently have a number of positions available for both apprentices looking to continue their apprenticeship, as well as positions for mature-aged trade assistants looking to start their apprenticeship.  “Apprentices are our future workforce and they must be supported so we can continue to have a strong local economy” said Ms Johnson.  “By supporting apprentices such as Paul to continue their apprenticeships, we are ensuring our rural and regional communities have a skilled workforce into the future.”

Darcy takes on second trade

Warwick apprentice, Darcy Kuilboer has always had a passion for the engineering industry and is now part the way through his second apprenticeship.  Darcy, who is already a tradie, holding a Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication and has recently commenced another engineering apprenticeship in sheet metal. 

With a trade certificate in engineering fabrication, Darcy was keen to expand his skills and knowledge of the engineering industry when an apprenticeship in sheet metal work was advertised with Golden West Apprenticeships and CSM Service Bodies.  “I feel most at home and love working in engineering, when the apprenticeship in sheet metal came up with Golden West Apprenticeships, I jumped at the chance to further my knowledge”.

Darcy’s host employer, CSM Services Bodies could see the value Darcy’s previous industry experience would bring to their organisation.  Joel Muller, Production Branch Manager from CSM said “Darcy already having had experience in a similar trade has meant that we have been able to up skill him faster and we will be able to sign him off as a tradesman soon”. 

There is a growing demand from businesses seeking to take on apprentices who can be signed off as tradespeople earlier.  “Businesses are offering apprenticeships to workers with previous industry experience and we are seeing a large number of apprenticeship vacancies in the engineering and construction industries” said Camille Johnson, CEO of Golden West Apprenticeships.  “For trades assistants and others working in the industry, there is an opportunity to be recognised for the skills and knowledge they have collected through work and life experiences” said Ms Johnson.  “The Recognition of Prior Learning process allows workers to transfer this into an apprenticeship, and reduce the time it takes to complete an apprenticeship”.

After commencing his apprenticeship in October last year, Darcy is already in third stage as his previous skills and knowledge has been recognised and credited toward his apprenticeship. 

Darcy is encouraging anyone already working in the industry to consider taking on an apprenticeship “it’s a fantastic way to pursue your hobbies and the apprenticeship also gives you valuable skills”. 

Once his apprenticeship is completed, Darcy is keen to impart his knowledge of the trade onto others, and has career aspirations of become a dual tradesperson to pass along his skills to new apprentices joining the workforce “I hope to become a dual tradesman, and maybe one day move up the ladder into a supervisor role” said Darcy.

Tayla’s Drive for Success

After completing a Skilling Queenslander’s for Work program, Tayla Dennis’ future is now much brighter. 

In April of last year, Tayla was successful in gaining an opportunity through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program to complete a Work Skills Business Traineeship with Golden West Apprenticeships and hosted at the Maranoa Regional Council.

While working for the Council, Tayla supported the implementation of Council’s tourism program, specifically the drive trail project.  This project saw the installation of directional and interpretive signage on each tourist drive in the region.  Tayla researched and collated stories to help show visitors a glimpse into the heart and soul of the district through the interpretive signs. As part of the Work Skills traineeship, Tayla also developed a range of administrative skills including creating business documents, using business equipment and resources and creating spreadsheets. 

“I had no experience and little knowledge of the tourism industry when I started, however it didn’t take me very long to get hooked” said Ms Dennis.  “It’s such a great feeling knowing that you have provided tourists with information to get the most out of their stay in the Maranoa”.

Since completing the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, Tayla was successful in securing an ongoing position as a Certificate III in Tourism Trainee with Golden West Apprenticeships, again hosted by the Maranoa Regional Council.

“We are tremendously proud of Tayla’s efforts and pleased she has been offered an ongoing position with the Council” said Camille Johnson, Golden West Apprenticeships’ CEO.  “Golden West has been servicing the Maranoa region for over 30 years and we know how vital it is to develop skills within our communities. Partnering with the Maranoa Regional Council in the Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program has provided a lifetime of opportunities for locals and the community.  The Council have continually demonstrated their strong commitment to the development of skills and jobs in the region and Golden West are proud to be working with them”.

Councillor Puddy Chandler, Portfolio Chair for Tourism said it is great to see this passion from Tayla to provide the best possible tourism experience for tourists travelling in the Maranoa.

“It is a very exciting time with Council currently embarking on a new era of tourism in the Maranoa with an outstanding visitor experience planned for travellers to our region,” Cr Chandler said.  

Over the next 12 months, Tayla will continue working at the Council as well as studying to complete her Certificate III in Tourism.  However, once the traineeship is completed Tayla intends to continue her professional development “I want to expand my knowledge and skills in the tourism industry. I also want to continue further studies to complete a diploma to prepare myself for management roles” said Ms Dennis.  

Tayla Dennis (centre), with Leanne Crawford and Debbie Joppich from the Maranoa Regional Council.



MEDIA CONTACT: 
For more information please contact:
Ph.: 07 4622 3422
Email: marketing@goldenwest.org.au



Golden West Apprenticeships is a community based, non-profit organisation that specialises in the ‘group employment’ of apprentices and trainees in a wide range of industries. The core business of Golden West Apprenticeships is to play our local youth and mature age job seekers into apprenticeships and traineeships as well as to provide business with quality apprentices and trainees. Golden West Apprenticeships has more than 25 years’ experience in assisting job seekers find and sustain quality and meaningful employment.

The Sky's the Limit for Melitta

After completing a Skilling Queenslander’s for Work program, Melitta Grant’s future is now much brighter. 

In April of this year, Melitta was successful in gaining an opportunity through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program to complete a Work Skills Business Traineeship with Golden West Apprenticeships and hosted at the Charleville Cosmos Centre. 

(L-R Monique Johnson – Acting Manager - Charleville Cosmos Centre, Melitta Grant - Business Administration Trainee and Camille Johnson - CEO Golden West Apprenticeships)


While working at the Cosmos Centre, Melitta supported the development of Murweh Shire Council’s tourism program and participated in the day to day operation of the Cosmos Centre, providing information to visitors on regional tourist attractions and activities. As part of the Work Skills traineeship, Melitta also developed a range of administrative skills including creating business documents, using business equipment and resources and creating spreadsheets. 

Last week, Melitta completed the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program and was successful in securing an ongoing position as a Certificate III in Business Administration Trainee with Golden West Apprenticeships, again hosted at the Charleville Cosmos Centre.

“We are tremendously proud of Melitta’s efforts and pleased she has been offered an ongoing position at the Charleville Cosmos Centre” said Camille Johnson, Golden West Apprenticeships’ CEO.  “Golden West has been servicing the South West region for almost 30 years and we know how vital it is to develop skills within our communities. Partnering with the Murweh Shire Council in the Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program has provided a lifetime of opportunities for locals and the community.  The Council have continually demonstrated their strong commitment to development of skills and jobs in the region and Golden West are proud to be working with them”.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Melitta back on board. The Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program is the best thing for remote and regional communities. We have so many talented youth in our areas and to be able to help skill them in the capacity that they thrive in just makes complete sense to me” said Monique Johnson, Charleville Cosmos Centre’s Acting Manager.   “I look forward to working with Melitta again and I thank The Murweh Shire Council and Golden West for taking the initiative and helping educate our residents in their preferred fields”.

Over the next 12 months, Melitta will continue working at the Charleville Cosmos Centre as well as studying to complete her Certificate III in Business Administration.  

MEDIA CONTACT: 
For more information please contact:
Ph.: 07 4622 3422
Email: marketing@goldenwest.org.au



Golden West Apprenticeships is a community based, non-profit organisation that specialises in the ‘group employment’ of apprentices and trainees in a wide range of industries. The core business of Golden West Apprenticeships is to play our local youth and mature age job seekers into apprenticeships and traineeships as well as to provide business with quality apprentices and trainees. Golden West Apprenticeships has more than 25 years’ experience in assisting job seekers find and sustain quality and meaningful employment.

10 Civil Construction Roles for Western Downs


Chinchilla and Dalby jobseekers are needed to embark on a career in civil construction with exciting new project on the Western Downs.

With construction set to commence on one of Australia’s largest utility solar farms, Golden West Apprenticeships are we teaming up with RCR on the construction of the Darling Downs Solar Farm by providing civil construction traineeships for Western Downs job seekers.

The project, valued at approximately $175 million, involves the installation of solar infrastructure to create a 200 Ha solar footprint and leverages intellectual capital in the design and construction of large-scale energy generation assets and reflects RCR’s standing as one of the country’s leading energy solutions specialists.

To support the installation of the solar infrastructure, ten local jobseekers will be selected to undertake a Certificate II in Civil Construction traineeship.

“We are very excited to be working with RCR to offer Western Downs residents’ civil construction based career opportunities” said Camille Johnson CEO. “Golden West Apprenticeships has been servicing the Western Downs region for almost 30 years and we know how vital it is keep sills in our communities.  Partnering with RCR to deliver these traineeships will provide a lifetime of opportunities for our locals.”

“As promoted at previous local public forums RCR wants to work with the local community to provide employment opportunities and worthwhile training to the local people within the region” said RCR’s Manager of Apprentices and Graduates, Chris Platt. “The Traineeships will kick start a great career in Civil Construction and will also open up employment opportunities not only in the local area but across the state and Australia”.

Anyone seeking further information is invited to contact Cindy Harvey on 07 4624 5775 or email charvey@goldenwest.org.au .  Applications for the Civil Construction Traineeships can be submitted online via the Golden West Apprenticeships website www.goldenwest.org.au.


For more information about this press release please contact Jo Gudmann on ph: 07 4662 1410, email jgudmann@goldenwest.org.au


Kamika Maynard

Kamika Maynard completed her Business Administration traineeship with Golden West and will now be joining TAFE QLD - South West.

Kamika on Golden West:

"Just wanted to send a quick thank you all for your help, support and guidance throughout my traineeship with Golden West. 

I have really enjoyed my time working with you guys and gained so much confidence and knowledge over the past 12 months.  Although I am sad to leave Golden West, I am looking forward to my opportunity at TAFE and seeing where it takes me."

Ashley for the Win

Third year carpentry apprentice, Ashley Walker was awarded the prestigious Apprentice of the Year Award on Friday night, at the Queensland Master Builders’ Housing and Construction Awards.  This recognition of achievement comes from the Downs and Western branch of the Queensland Master Builders Association. 

Ashley Walker

Ashley is completing her Certificate III in Carpentry with Ross Vaschina Construction and is employed by Golden West Apprenticeships. 

As a child, Ashley would help her mother with renovation and landscaping projects around the family home.  Being involved in those project and after completing Try a Trade in Carpentry while at school, Ashley commenced an apprenticeship in carpentry at the completion of grade 12.  Ashley says she loves her carpentry apprenticeship “I love the satisfaction you get when you can look back at the end of the day and see your progress.  You always have something to show for your work.  I love being able to drive by a project or a beautiful home and say “I built that!”. 

While Ashley loves the construction industry, she does say from time to time being a women in a male dominated industry can have its challenges. “You feel like you always stand out being a girl amongst many males and you constantly feel like there’s that added pressure on you to prove yourself or earn your place” says Ashley.  “The job can be physically demanding and at times exhausting, but like every job there’s good parts and bad parts”.  Golden West Apprenticeships as Ashley legal employer, provide her with support and mentoring, while host employer Ross Vaschina provides on the job training and guidance, both are committed to ensuring Ashley’s success.  With Ashley and Ross working side by side, Ashely has been given the opportunity to develop a wide range of quality skills in her short time as an apprentice.  “A majority of the past two twos years, it’s just been the two of us, so I get to work independently all the time and I’ve had the chance to do almost everything.  I’m getting experience in all aspects of the job” said Ashley.

Outside of work, Ashley currently owns property and is putting her carpentry skills to the test as part of a renovation project.  “The skills I learn at work, I put to good use as I renovate my own property.  I want to keep investing in more properties and building up my portfolio, and I know these skills I’m learning will really help out” says Ashley.

Extremely motivated to succeed, Ashley has plans to complete a Certificate IV in Building in Construction at the end of her apprenticeship, with a view to getting into a position as a site supervisor or foreman.  Another of Ashley’s goals is to be involved in the construction of her own high rise building at the coast. 

Ashley Walker

Ashley credits her mother and her apprenticeship with helping to shape the motivated and committed person she is today.  “Watching my Mum and how independent she is, has inspired me to be the person I am.  I aspire to be the strong woman that she is” says Ashley.  “My apprenticeship has helped shaped me into the person I am.  I have confidence that I never knew I had!  It’s made me realise that if you believe it - you can do it! And that if I can do this, I believe I can do almost anything.”

When asked if she has any advice for someone wanting to do an apprenticeship, Ashley says “I personally think an apprenticeship is the best thing you can do!  The reason I believe this is because not only can you earn while you’re learning, but you come out at the end of it with hands on skills, a great paying career and debt free”.

Ashley will now progress onto the Queensland Housing and Construction Award ceremony in September.  


MEDIA CONTACT: For more information please contact:
Ph: 07 4622 3422
Email: marketing@goldenwest.org.au


Golden West Apprenticeships is a community based, non-profit organisation that specialises in the ‘group employment’ of apprentices and trainees in a wide range of industries. The core business of Golden West Apprenticeships is to play our local youth and mature age job seekers into apprenticeships and traineeships as well as to provide business with quality apprentices and trainees. Golden West Apprenticeships has more than 25 years’ experience in assisting job seekers find and sustain quality and meaningful employment.

Golden West Apprenticeships are committed to assisting Queenslanders in gaining nationally recognised qualifications whilst at the same time providing business and industry with a hassle free way of employing apprentices and trainees. Our team are dedicated to meeting the training needs of regional and rural Queensland.

Our Head Office is in Roma and we operate across Longreach, Emerald, Charleville, Dalby and Toowoomba regions.


Golden West Apprentice wins Most Improved Metal Fabrication Apprentice Award

Jacob Hine, 4th Stage Boilermaking Apprentice, Quick Corp PTY LTD

Well done to our boilermaking apprentice, Jacob Hine for winning the TAFE Queensland South West – 2017 Most Improved Metal Fabrication Apprentice Award. For his win, Jacob received a BOC pack of equipment including a welding mask, goggles and welding gloves.

Jacob has performed well at TAFE and in the workplace with host employer Quick Corp and demonstrated a large improvement in his skills over the time of his apprenticeship. He works quickly with great accuracy and attention to detail.

Jacob has gained extensive knowledge and feels lucky to have the opportunity to undertake his apprenticeship in his home town of Crows Nest. 



Boilermaking Apprentice wins 3rd place in Worldskills Competition

Chais Welldon, 4th Stage Boilermaking Apprentice, Great Western Manufacturing

Chais competed in the Worldskills Competition at the end of May and against stiff completion and a very difficult metal fabrication exercise, finished in third place.

The competition required the fabrication of a small oil wagon with tank and folded chassis. This exercise had to be completed without the use of grinder or files and all frame cutting was completed by hand.

Chais’s accuracy and quality of flame cut finishes was commended by the judges. The skills and quality workmanship that Chais displayed during the competition were exceptional and he is a credit to his host employer, Great Western Manufacturing, TAFE Queensland South West and Golden West Apprenticeships.

Winter Safety Tips

With the seasons changing and the cooler weather settling in, the potential for accidents is increasing and we want to ensure all employees and host employers stay safe. Here are a few suggestions and tips that can be done in the workplace, at home and on the road to stay safe throughout winter.

Workplace Safety

  1. Ensure loose fitting garments (scarves, gloves) are removed before operating machinery
  2. Consider employees working outside in cold conditions 
  3. Ensure floor surfaces are clear and free of water/ice to avoid slips and falls
  4. Prevent staff illness by keeping warm and following correct hygiene practices
  5. Take regular breaks and don’t overexert

Safety at Home

  1.  Give portable heaters at least 1m space and don’t leave unattended
  2.  Clean and service heaters/air conditioners
  3.  Test smoke alarms annually
  4.  Have an emergency evacuation plan in place
  5.  Check electrical cords on electrical blankets and heaters for fraying/damage

Road Safety Tips

  1. Clear windscreens of ice and check wipers are in good condition
  2. Try avoid sudden braking to prevent skidding
  3. Make sure headlights are in working order
  4. Keep ample distance between other vehicles and drive to conditions
  5. Do a maintenance check and inspect your tyres for pressure and thread

When host employers and employees prepare for the winter season and take the correct actions to prevent potential incidents occurring, winter will be enjoyable and safe for everyone.