It’s not just about work, it’s about finding a career for latest GEA trainees   

It’s not just about work, it’s about finding a career for latest GEA trainees   

Trainee Charmaine Bennett, 48, used to work in accounting, business administration and events management in her home country of South Africa. Through Gladstone Engineering Alliance’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, Charmaine hopes to be able to get back into the job market at the completion of her traineeship. Charmaine and 35 other trainees were recently employed by GEA to take part in an 18-week employment program under the Skilling Queensland for Work (SQW) – Community Work Project.   

Charmaine said that her family moved to Australia from South Africa four years ago. Since that time she has brought up her family, and now she feels the time is right to secure full-time work.  “I’ve been trying to get work for a while now so to get the opportunity to get back into the job market through the GEA traineeship program is of great value and from what I’ve learnt so far I believe I’ll be successful,” Charmaine said.   

Funded by the Queensland Government the Community Work Skills traineeships assist disadvantaged Queensland job seekers and low skilled workers to gain nationally recognised skills and qualifications. The 36 trainees will work in the Business, Construction and Conservation and Land Management sectors. GEA acting chief executive officer Julie Gelder said the GEA will work with local not for profit Community Organisations to assist the trainees in developing work habits and skills to get them accustomed to being back in the work environment. “Through programs like the Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs and the continuous professional development that’s offered, GEA is always working towards our vision of building a highly skilled and capable workforce in central Queensland,” Ms Gelder said.   

GEA projects coordinator Megan Corrie said the enthusiasm of trainees and the generous support provided by the community has been truly gratifying. “The focus for all our trainees is to complete their training and secure sustainable employment within the Gladstone region,” Ms Corrie said. “This program is a great opportunity for Gladstone to continue to upskill our workforce and to be able to provide employment for 36 candidates. The program not only aims to help boost confidence but also to refresh and develop new skills and to essentially be able to help find trainees employment in either a part-time or full-time capacity.”