Keeping skills in industry

BUNDABERG'S building industry and apprenticeship training companies are working together to ensure a downturn in the industry does not affect the training of local apprentices.

MRAEL Group's apprentice services manager Kathryn James said the local industry was very supportive and had worked hard to try and keep apprentices in work.

“The building industry in Bundaberg realises that there is going to be a skills shortage in the very near future and is working with us to employ apprentices and train them, so we are not left with a skills gap in the future,” she said.

MRAEL Group looks after about 60 Bundaberg and North Burnett apprentices, placing them on work sites to gain the skills they need to complete training.

Ms James said the company tried to partner an apprentice with a business for the life of their apprenticeship.

Dale Robinson, managing director of Gainsite Plumbing and Gas, was concerned about the long-term effects of the downturn on available trade apprenticeships and the state of the trade workforce when the industry improved.

“Reduced work out there reduces the chances of youths getting jobs. If we don't put apprentices on, we could see sub-skilled migrants coming in to fill the gaps,” he said.



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