Greenskills Cycles Towards a Sustainable Future

Greenskills placed Lauren Crooks in a traineeship at E-Bike Central in April 2015. As a female, working in the bicycle industry, Lauren is somewhat of an anomaly, a frontrunner in an incredibly male-dominated industry.

Historically male oriented, Australia’s bicycle industry is sometimes quite intimidating and alienating for women, particularly women shopping for a new set of wheels. This is despite the fact that more and more females around the world are riding, and shopping for, bikes.

Bike shops seem to lack one crucial ingredient for success: female staff. A mere 15% of all staff employed in the bicycle industry are female, the majority of whom are employed in administrative roles. If you seriously want to connect, communicate, understand and sell to women, then you need to employ women on your sales floor and in your workshops.

The most recent Australian Bike Industry report highlighted that women control 80% of all Australian household budgets. Clearly, women are the gatekeepers of spending decisions, including those spending decisions made in bicycle stores. But it’s a mistake to see women as mere influencers on the purchasing decisions of their partners and children; women are of course active, serious and valuable cycling consumers in their own right.

The cycling industry is starting to respond to this buyer profile. According to the Bike Industry report, 58% of Australian bike shops now have female specific displays and 17% have run female specific promotions within the last 12 months. Some of the larger bike companies have been investing in their women’s ranges, and the marketing of these ranges, for a few years now.

This is something that E-Bike Central in Richmond understands well. Trainee Lauren is responsible for both the repair and the sale of e-bikes. She is learning technical, hands-on skills repairing e-bikes in the workshop that make selling the environmentally friendly bicycles much easier on the shop floor. This makes Lauren not only a friendly face, but also a source of in-depth technical knowledge, for E-Bike Central’s female customers.

“Lauren has had a huge impact on our customer base. We find that women naturally gravitate towards her. And, with the technical knowledge she is gaining in the workshop, Lauren has the skills to accurately sell, and even upsell, to all of our customers. While Lauren is the first female member of our sales team, we would not hesitate in recommending employing female sales staff to any bike shop. It has done our business wonders,” said Darryn Simcox, owner of E-Bike Central.

Porsche’s Panamera Hybrid Offers A Sustainable Future For Greenskills’ Trainee

Dale Graham is learning all about Porsche’s new hybrid technology, thanks to a sales traineeship facilitated by Greenskills.

As part of his traineeship, Dale has a wide variety of responsibilities, including maintaining the Porsche Demonstrator Fleet, updating the Porsche Centre’s online sales presence, and attending to the logistical requirements of the sales team for both delivery and service scenarios. Above all else, Dale absorbs as much as possible, particularly all the sales processes and procedures demonstrated by his senior colleagues. Dale has also had to learn all the technical specifications of Porsche’s new hybrid.

Porsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid is a parallel plug-in hybrid. As such, it can be powered by a combustion engine, electric machine, or by both units working together. Its high-voltage battery takes only 3.8 hours to recharge when it is directly connected to an electricity socket. Thanks to innovative lithium-ion technology, its capacity of 9.4 kWh means that it can also store energy. 

The 3.0 litre supercharged V6 engine generates 245 kW (or 333 horse power), the electric motor 70 kW (95 horse power). Combined, they deliver 306 kW (416 horse power) to the road at 5,500 rpm. With both drives working together, the Panamera S E-Hybrid accelerates from 0 to 100 km per hour in just 5.5 seconds. Fuel consumption is remarkably low, at an average of 3.1 litres per 100 km, as are the CO2 emissions, at just 71 grams per km.

The operating range of the hybrid drive begins with emission-free, quiet driving up to a maximum speed of around 135 km per hour and a range of approximately 36 km. The combustion engine is fired automatically when necessary or when activated by the driver. 

This traineeship is the opportunity of a lifetime for Dale, “I would never have imagined being given an opportunity to work for a Marque so highly respected, one that is so deeply steeped in history and tradition. To find a traineeship that incorporates and values sustainability and environmental considerations makes it evermore important. I’m very fortunate for having come across Greenskills.”

Greenskills, Australia’s first youth employment program dedicated to developing skills with a sustainability focus, secured Dale his sales traineeship at Porsche. With a range of traineeships and apprenticeships across a broad range of industries, Greenskills is bound to be able to kick-start your sustainability-focused career. 

Jobs 2014 Campaign a Huge Success

The national Jobs 2014 campaign, which aimed to create 2,014 jobs for young Australians within just eight weeks, smashed all its targets.

Launched on 18 June 2014, by WPC Group and News Corp Australia, the Jobs 2014 campaign created 2,394 new jobs, including apprenticeships and traineeships in construction, horticulture, hospitality, and retail.

With youth unemployment the worst it’s been in more than 15 years, at three times the national average ? 16% nationally and more than 30% in some areas (including northwest Melbourne) ? WPC Group knows that the problem needs to be tackled head on. 
That’s where apprenticeships, traineeships, and programs such as Jobs 2014 are so valuable. The skills learnt during an apprenticeship open the door to a rewarding, successful career, and teach young people 
valuable life lessons that a traditional classroom simply cannot. And, according to Skills Australia, young apprentices should have little trouble finding gainful long-term employment at the conclusion of their training; Australia will need 2.4 million new workers with Certificate III level skills by next year, and more than 
5.2 million by 2025 due to projected retirements. Jobs 2014 was the nation’s biggest ever community-inspired employment drive. Aimed at jobseekers between the ages of 18 and 25, as well as employers big and small, the campaign called on companies and businesses throughout Australia to help match young jobseekers 
with jobs. Prime Minister Tony Abbott endorsed the Jobs 2014 campaign, and Woolworths, Australia’s second biggest employer, lent its support, creating an additional 200 jobs for young people.


CEO Cook Off feeds 1000 homeless and reduces waste

Pic: Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas Airways and Nicholas Wyman, CEO, WPC Group LtdThe 2013 CEO Cook Off hosted by Qantas and OzHarvest was a great success! WPC Group CEO Nicholas Wyman teamed up with Celebrity Chefs including Matt Moran, Maggie Beer, Poh Ling Yeow, Adam Liaw, Neil Perry and Pete Evans at the Cathedral Square in Sydney.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness and much needed funds to assist Australians facing challenges in the areas of food security, homelessness and youth in crisis. The event raised a total of One Million Dollars while the CEOs and Celebrity Chefs put their sustainable culinary skills to work to cook up a storm to feed 1000 people in need.

Photo: Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas Airways and Nicholas Wyman, CEO, WPC Group Ltd