Centennial first-year apprentice Thomas Chock learning welding as part of the Lithgow Skills Centre program.
Fourteen mechanical and electrical apprentices have begun a six-month training program at TAFE NSW’s Lithgow Skills Centre to help kick-start their careers.
The program is a partnership with HVTC (representing Centennial), EnergyAustralia, and Skillset (representing Thales Group) to upskill first-year apprentices in multiple trades.
Teacher Nigel Brown said while the students are currently apprenticed on mining sites and in power stations and munitions workshops, the course makes them employable in almost any industrial company.
“The students get accelerated learning in their chosen trade as well as developing foundational knowledge in a range of other trade skillsets,” Mr Brown explained.
“We help them develop hands-on skills across electrical, fitting and machining, welding and fabrication trades, which makes them incredibly versatile workers and boosts their job prospects.
“The course also helps them build confidence and learn about WHS, presentation techniques, and the value of collaboration and teamwork, which is vital in many of the industries they will work in.”
Centennial, through apprentice employment service provider HVTC, has been partnering with TAFE NSW for almost a decade to upskill its young apprentices.
Centennial Executive General Manager of Continuous Miner Operations West, Bob Miller, said TAFE NSW delivers training that complements the on-site practical experience provided by Centennial's tradespeople. He said this assists young workers to become more confident and capable to safely perform trades roles on major mining sites.
“The Lithgow Skills Centre program gives our apprentices a good understanding of safety and a strong sense of what to expect when working in a trade environment and on a mine site,” Mr Miller said.
“Having apprentices with a variety of skillsets is valuable because they can work on projects across the mine site from construction and fleet to maintenance and repair. That flexibility improves our productivity and makes those apprentices sought-after as multi-skilled tradespeople.”
HVTC’s Operations Manager Libby Ford said the organisation was thrilled to work with TAFE NSW to offer additional training to apprentices.
“The TAFE NSW training gives these apprentices a series of further micro-credentials in addition to their trade qualification, which are highly regarded within industry across NSW,” Ms Ford said.
“Those extra skills and credentials are a great head start to build successful careers in any industry.”
For more information on training options at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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