As semester two classes started last month the construction section at TAFE NSW – Western Institute in Dubbo found itself in the enviable position of all its pre-apprentice students having found employment.
According to Dennis Wilson, Head Teacher in Construction, the group of 15 who started the pre-apprentice course at the beginning of the year have all found employment in the construction industry.
“The aim of the program is to help people get employment,” he said. “We are very pleased that the majority of the group have secured apprenticeships in the construction sector.”
Consequently a new group of 16 students has now commenced in the program which provides the equivalent training to the first year of an apprenticeship as well as giving real building experience.
“We have a partnership with Harnett Homes in Dubbo which has been in place for the last four years or so which allows our students to be involved in the construction of transportable homes,” Mr Wilson said.
“It is this practical component of the pre-apprenticeship course which makes the students competitive for employment because they can enter their apprenticeships having learned some real workplace skills and demonstrated their commitment to the industry.”
Mr Wilson has been working for TAFE in Dubbo for 25 years and during that time his section has been involved in the construction of more than 100 homes in Dubbo as part of career-entry programs like this one.
“With at least one group running in each of those years that is a lot of young people who have gained entry into the construction industry with the support of TAFE,” he said.
Mr Wilson estimates that more than 80% of the people who take part in TAFE delivered pre-apprenticeship programs in construction are successful in securing employment.
“Our last group has proven that the TAFE program is an effective strategy for opening opportunities for people in the sector and for addressing the employment needs of the local industry.”
A new group of pre-apprentices will start in Semester 1 2007 and anyone interested in participating in the course should contact Dennis Wilson on 6883 3650.