‘Maddy’s dream job delivers training, experience and security’ – NextGen Jobs

Like many school-leavers, Maddy Gallagher found herself wondering about a career after finishing Year 12.

Unsure of what she wanted to do but keen to enter the workforce, she picked up a factory job in Tullamarine. But it didn’t take her long to realise it wasn’t for her.

“It was Monday to Friday and I was just like: I can’t do this, I can’t be inside,” Maddy says. So she started applying for apprenticeships online.

She secured an apprenticeship with the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust in March, and Maddy has begun more fulfilling and satisfying work with her days spent outdoors cultivating soil, using the ride on mower and planting, among other tasks.

Maddy is happily working her way through a Certificate III in Parks and Gardens based at Altona Memorial Park, and it’s good, practical work with lots of variety. Importantly, it’s outdoors.

“I absolutely love it,” she says. “I think, if anything, I underestimated how good it was going to be. I thought I would struggle to fit in… but they took me in, and straight away, it was like I’d been there for ages. They were really welcoming.”

Maddy was supported through the  Victorian Apprenticeship Recovery Package, which places people aged 15 to 24 into fully-funded 12-month apprenticeships or traineeships with government departments, agencies, and local councils.

Backed by a $9 million investment from Jobs Victoria, the scheme placed its 300th apprentice in June.

Maddy says there is much to love about apprenticeships: You earn a qualification and invaluable on-the-job experience, and you are paid to learn.

“For people who don’t look at uni as something they want to do, I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship,” she says. “I feel like every job that you apply for now, all they want is experience. With an apprenticeship, you get the experience, but you also get the qualification.”

The Greater Melbourne Cemeteries Trust’s Horticultural Supervisor, Daniel Walkeden, said Maddy’s hard work, high standards and initiative contribute to her success as an apprentice.

“Apprenticeships are a really good leg-up to either get yourself qualified or just into a good industry and job,” Daniel says.

“I did an apprenticeship myself, and our manager at the moment actually started here as an apprentice, too. It’s really good to get kids in the gates and get their careers started.”

‘Inspirational female Arborist Trainee takes out three prestigious awards’ – AEN Awards

  • Trainee of the year
  • Inspiration Award: Women in Trades
  • GAN International Apprenticeship Scholarship

Katharine Starting her traineeship with Maroondah City Council in 2019.

On the March 11th 2021, WPC Group Arboriculture trainee Katharine Knapman took out three awards at the catch-up dinner for the 2020 Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) awards – the GAN Australia International Apprentice Scholarship, Inspiration Award: Women in Trades and Trainee of the Year.

The AEN Awards celebrate the achievements of apprentices, trainees and group training organisations in Victoria annually and this year they did not disappoint.

Starting her traineeship with Maroondah City Council in 2019, Katharine turned her passion for nature into a career. Maroondah City Council gave Katharine her start in the industry, introducing her to the trade where she gained confidence and met new people who shared her passion for the environment.

During her time with Maroondah City Council, Katharine proved her dedication and commitment to Arboriculture and her traineeship, by pursing her education outside of work, spending time with arborists who mentored her, showed her new skills and passed on their knowledge.

Now hosted with McLeod Trees, Katharine has had the opportunity to expand her knowledge further and work in different environments, undertaking new exciting tasks that will take her career to new heights.

Katharine is no stranger to winning awards. In 2019 she won the Outstanding First Year Student in Arboriculture at Holmesglen TAFE, which lead to her nomination for the 2019 Percy Moore Award with Holmesglen. Katharine also won the Timmy B Award at the VITO Climbing competition in 2019 for her attitude throughout the competition. WPC Group also nominated her for trainee of the year at the 2019 AEN awards.

When asked what winning the $12,000 scholarship means to her, Katharine says, “I will be able to further my education and career, going on to study higher certificates. Being able to continue my studies is just amazing.”

Winning Trainee of the Year, the Inspiration Award: Women in Trades and the GAN International Apprenticeship Scholarship gives Katharine the chance to promote Arboriculture, a trade that is still a new industry. Katharine is proud to show other women that they any do anything, that they can be part of a trade and pursue their dreams, “It would be really cool to see some more women to start trades and be part of the industry.”

Katharine thanked her employers; Maroondah City Council and McLeod Trees, WPC Group and her WPC Group mentor and her husband for supporting her throughout her traineeship.

Pictured left to right: Dean Luciani – AEN Chair, Tim Owens – WPC Group  Industry Consultant, Katharine Knapman – Trainee of the Year, the Inspiration Award: Women in Trades Recipient and the GAN International Apprenticeship Scholarship Recipient, Frederick J Maddern OBE – WPC Group Chairman and Gary Workman – AEN Executive Director.

Plenty of Jobs for the VET Set – Herald Sun

More than one million workers with vocational qualifications will be needed within the next two years to address rising skills shortages.

Training organisation WPC Group reports COVID-19 has exacerbated demand for vocational education and training (VET) graduates, with almost all of the 70-plus occupations on the National Skills Needs List accessible through VET.

Chloe Abela is completing a bushland traineeship at Maroondah Council.

WPC Group general manager Andrew Sezonov says traineeships and apprenticeships are not just for school leavers.

“Especially now,” he says. “They provide clear pathways for people who will need to upskill, or for those who want to pivot their career in a post-COVID workforce. There’s never been a better time for VET.”

Healthcare, including disability services, is one of the largest sectors crying out for VET-qualified workers, as are cyber security and the growing area of green energy, Sezonov says. He says hospitality workers will also be in high demand as that industry recovers from the pandemic downturn.

Sezonov hopes the need for vocationally educated workers will end the “identity crisis” surrounding VET, noting that apprentices who complete their training enjoy an average starting salary of $59,000 a year. This puts them on par with — or even ahead of — many university graduates.

Some apprentices, including electro technicians, earn annual starting salaries of more than $90,000 once they qualify. National Apprentice Employment Network chief executive Dianne Dayhew says the ability for vocational students to start work immediately — rather than wait until they become qualified to find their first job — is key to their appeal.

“COVID has turbocharged the need for skills and there’s a real sense of urgency out there,” she says. “Integrating employment and learning in a real-world environment means there’s not that delay in getting skills into the workplace.”

TAFE Directors Australia chief executive Craig Robertson says the need for so many VET-trained workers is a reminder of the “power” of structured apprenticeships and traineeships.

After finishing year 12, Chloe Abela caved into peer pressure and went to university, but dropped out of a degree in animation to pursue her love of working outdoors. The 21-year-old is now halfway through a bushland traineeship with Maroondah Council and believes increasing recognition of environmental degradation will ensure her skills are in high demand. “There is pressure (for school leavers) to go to uni but it’s important to be aware of what else is out there,” says Abela, whose role includes identifying native plant species and preserving them in their natural environment.

“I didn’t really think about horticulture being a trade until I did more research into it but I’ve never looked back. I enjoy going to work every day and I’ve become so passionate about native plants.”

WPC Group Chairman recognised for contribution to VET sector

WPC Group Chairman Frederick J Maddern OBE has been recognised for his 40+ years of valuable contribution to the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

Mr Maddern was presented with the Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) Lifetime Achievement Award at the AEN Awards Night in Melbourne on November 22.

AEN is the peak industry body representing not for profit group training companies across Victoria. The Award recognises an individual, for their contribution to vocational education and training and the advancement of Group Training in Victoria.

Mr Maddern says he feels “humbled” and “grateful” to have been recognised.

“It is a great honour to receive an award like this. I am tremendously thrilled with the support I have been given over the years, and I couldn’t have achieved half the things that I’ve done without the teams I’ve had behind me,” Mr Maddern says.

Having enjoyed a wide-ranging career, Mr Maddern has held foundational and significant roles with numerous government and community organisations, including Councillor and Mayor of the City of Footscray, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria and President of the Australian Local Government Association.

Mr Maddern’s involvement with the VET sector goes back to 1974, when he was the CEO of the Western Region Commission (WRC), which was formed to address the high level of youth unemployment in Victoria’s Western Suburbs.

In 1983, Mr Maddern worked with the WRC Board to develop Western Region Group Training (WRGT), the first community based GTO established in Victoria. This GTO officially relaunched in 2007 as WPC Group. As Chairman, Mr Maddern worked with his team to strengthen the traineeship and apprenticeship models, at a time where there was a lack of focus and lack of funding. Fred worked hard to reinvigorate group training, repositioning WPC Group for the 21st century, never losing focus of the apprentices and trainees and the communities he had set out to help. Mr Maddern continues this work, still Chairman of WPC Group today.

Mr Maddern also chairs the Skilling Australia Foundation and is actively involved in supporting its activities. Set up in 2012, the Foundation works in innovative ways to support young Australians facing disadvantage to forge their own career pathways through training and employment.

Fred says he is proud that the work done by the Western Region Group Training Company (now WPC Group) and Skilling Australia Foundation has allowed thousands of young people to pursue meaningful careers.

“That in itself is a very rich reward,” Fred says, “to know that you have been a very important part of young people’s lives.”

‘Aussie Benz apprentices land US scholarship’ – GoAutoNews Premium, Online

August 8. 2018 | Robbie Wallis | GoAutoNews Premium Journalist

THREE young automotive apprentices working for Australian Mercedes-Benz dealerships have been granted a scholarship to travel to the United States for a cultural and career development tour that has been funded by the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation through Skilling Australia Foundation.

The scholarship will see the three recipients complete a two-to-three-day observation visit to a Mercedes-Benz dealership in either Los Angeles or Kentucky in September to observe first-hand how the car-maker’s American arm approaches automotive skills, and to bring back knowledge and skills they can share with co-workers.

Winners include 23-year-old Mikaela Lawrence and 20-year-old Fearghus Von Prott – both light vehicle mechanical apprentices – and 23-year-old Bianka Chiodo, a parts interpreting apprentice.

The three winners work for Mercedes-Benz Brisbane, Mercedes-Benz Sydney and Mercedes-Benz Melbourne respectively, and all started their apprenticeships within the last two years.

All three apprentices had help finding work through WPC Group, which connects prospective apprentices and trainees with employers and industries to facilitate job creation, and since 2000 has worked with Mercedes-Benz to find employment for 266 apprentices, mainly in the field of light vehicles but also in areas such as spare parts and spray painting.

To qualify for the scholarship, apprentices must have at least 18 months of experience in the automotive industry, and Skilling Australia Foundation – the philanthropic arm of WPC Group – has picked the three winners due to their high potential and performance in their roles.

The Workplace Institute, which works with numerous companies to address skills shortages, will fund the trip by covering expenses of all flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and insurances, as well as providing winners with a US-based mentor, uniforms and protective equipment.

Apprentices have been receiving the scholarship yearly since 2016.

All three Mercedes-Benz dealerships involved with the apprenticeship program are owned by Lei Shing Hong (LSH) Automobile, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate specialising in retailing vehicles, particularly from Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Lamborghini. Last year, Daimler AG purchased a 15 per cent stake in LSH Auto International.

LSH Auto Australia managing director John Good said promoting and developing apprentices was an important part of its business.

“Skill development is one of LSH Auto’s core brand values and we work very closely with WPC Group to ensure that we are supporting, educating and developing young apprentices looking to break into the automotive industry,” he said.

Original article: https://premium.goauto.com.au/aussie-benz-apprentices-land-us-scholarship/

WPC Group could get you into gear for a rewarding apprenticeship with luxury car dealer, Mercedes-Benz Melbourne, Sydney or Queensland, a member of LSH Auto Australia. You’ll need to be serious though, as competition is turbo-charged. For more info, visit here.