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2 September 2021
Working alongside tradesmen on a TAFE NSW building project has helped 23-year-old Kes Bandara cement a secure future.
Born in Sri Lanka, Kes’ family migrated to Australia and settled in Dubbo when he was 12.
Unsure of what he wanted to do, Kes overcame a learning challenge and as a teenager and young adult, completed several TAFE NSW courses in subjects such as hospitality, automotive, business, civil construction and construction.
While undertaking practical work experience as part of his Certificate II in Construction earlier this year, Kes found his dream job when he met tradesman Josh Lee who operates local supplier JML Concreting.
Working with other students on a TAFE NSW building site in Short St, Dubbo, Kes met Mr Lee who was contracted to complete concreting work on the site.
Impressed by Kes’ enthusiasm and willingness to try any task, Mr Lee invited Kes to work for him and take up a concreting apprenticeship while studying a Certificate III in Concreting.
TAFE NSW building project manager Scott MacLeod said the opportunity for students to work alongside qualified tradesmen and help them connect to potential employers was one of the strengths of TAFE NSW training.
“We are building a set of eight housing units which allows our students to gain practical construction skills while they assist the external tradesmen who are contracted to work on the project,” Mr MacLeod said.
“This helps connect students with potential employers and also teaches them what it is like to work on a building site.”
Mr Lee was impressed by Kes’ work ethic.
“Working on the TAFE NSW construction site meant I could connect with a student who would be a good fit for my business,” Mr Lee said.
“Kes has really impressed me as a labourer and apprentice, and he has gone out of his way to acquire the tools and vehicle he needs to do this job well.”
To find out more about courses offered by TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131601.
Media contact: Jenny Tinworth, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, ph 0411 443 555.