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Community & Business

25 October, 2021

Certificate 1 students graduate in Oakey-first program

After a year of hard work learning new skills and working with mentors, educators community groups and local businesses, 12 young people have come through the first ever Oakey-based, TAFE Queensland facilitated training program with a Certificate 1 in Construction following a graduation ceremony in Toowoomba.

The Certificate 1 students Jerara Bartman, Lennox Kirby, Tamieka Lucht, Jayden Brett, Jermaine Dodd, Toby Norris, Joshua Petersen, Ashley Hooper, Jay Troutman and Preyston McKellar. They are pictured with program facilitators Patricia Hedge and Ethan McCleverty from TAFE Queensland, the Oakey Youth Project’s Julie Cave and David Cooper from Coops Construction. Absent from the photo is students Isiah Hill and Jordan Smith.

 Facilitated by Busy at Work and TAFE Queensland, the Certificate 1 in Construction program gave Oakey young people the opportunity to learn entry level construction skills as well as life and employment skills in their local community.

The 12 month program will provide the students with enough skills to enter a role in construction or begin an apprenticeship in a related field.

Busy at Work mentor Andy Buchanan said it has been great watching the students grow over the course of the program.

He said Busy at Work will continue working with the students for several months to help their transition into the work-force or further training.

He said many of the participants were struggling with what path to take in life and the program helped to push them in the right direction.

“These are such valuable programs,” Mr Buchanan said.

“There is quite a few in the group that if they look back 12 months and see where they were and where they are now. They should be very proud of where they have got to.”

Mr Buchanan said the students learnt their skills whilst working at several local sites, including the Oakey Historical Museum, Jondaryan Woolshed and Oakey Showgrounds.

 He said alongside progressing in their abilities, the young people have also contributed to bettering their community.

“The team has been doing a lot of work for organisations that do rely a lot on volunteers and helpers to get the work done,” he said.

“The work the trainees have been doing is putting back into the community and I’m sure there are a lot of volunteers out there who are really grateful for the hours [they] have given.”

Mr Buchanan thanked Patricia Hedge and Ethan McCleverty from TAFE Queensland for their  work and support throughout the program.

Toowoomba Regional Council Deputy Mayor Cr Geoff McDonald attended the graduation ceremony.

He said the program has provided a well-rounded education to the young people which will make highly employable.

“What the students need to know is people will employ on attitude above skill. Skill can always be taught,” he said.

“If there is a take home of this project, it is about how working together you can achieve great things. 

“We’ve got TAFE South West Queensland, the State Government, Toowoomba Regional Council, Busy at Work, the Oakey Chamber of Commerce and Coops Construction. 

“It’s a real collection of people who are very keen on making sure others can achieve great things.”

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