13 May 2019
Gunnedah Shire Council has committed to supporting staff through vocational education, with 26 employees currently enrolled in trainee and apprenticeship courses, and a further 10 in other certificate-based courses.
The Council employees are enrolled in metal fabrication, plant construction, plant maintenance, and business administration courses through Gunnedah TAFE.
Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said combining on-the-job training and study towards a nationally recognised qualification was an important step for Council in staff professional development.
“Apprenticeships and traineeships can unlock a lifetime of opportunities for the employee and employer,” Cr Chaffey said.
“Council has seen many benefits from providing this opportunity to staff.”
Cr Chaffey said in the lead up to the State Election, Gunnedah Shire Council identified the reinstatement of apprenticeship courses at Gunnedah TAFE and redevelopment of the facilities as one of its top advocacy priorities. The apprenticeship courses have since been re-established and an announcement has been made for upgrades to the TAFE.
“We realise TAFE has been disconnected in the past, however there has been huge changes. Community support will ensure that we will continue to have a local TAFE with a wide variety of course offerings that service the needs of our community and provide opportunities for local people.”
“The most recent construction course enrolments were made up entirely of council staff so we really want to highlight the need for business and industry to get behind our local TAFE. It really is a case of if you don’t use it- you lose it.”
“Overall, I understand enrolments at Gunnedah TAFE are up 18 per cent from last year, and Indigenous student numbers have increased by 40 percent. These are fantastic results, as a growing community with many job vacancies for skilled workers, ensuring that we have the ability to retain and train our young people is important to continuing to serve Gunnedah’s economic growth,” Cr Chaffey said.
Photo Caption: Image one (below): Council Staff enrolled in TAFE Left to right: Luke Crowley, Chad Palmer, Jess O’Hearn, Luke Duff, Josh Wells, Mick Nagle, Steve Woodward, Gordon Macauley, Nico Mills, Brett Green, Jeff Warner
Image two (above): Council Staff undertaking Certificate III in Business Administration Sophie Priestly, Madeline Buhagiar and Tiarney Douglass.
Media Contact: Eliza Gallen 6740 2100.