Never too late to learn

The depot workers at Renmark Paringa Council in South Australia discovered it is never too late to learn new tricks when they undertook a Certificate III in Civil Construction.

With an average age of 48 and an average of 10 plus years of employment at Council, the suggestion that the staff undertake training for a Certificate in Civil Construction received a lukewarm reception.

After a period of consultation, a ‘meet & greet’ with the Registered Training Organisation, Carey Training, and the added enticement of a BBQ every so often, the ‘students’ eventually signed up with the great team from Business SA  - Andrew Gower and Sharnee Bradshaw.

Council Human Resources Officer, Tracey Faehrmann attended the first on-site class, reporting that the Trainer, Paul Maynard, who was from a trade and construction background, fitted in so well with the participants that the interaction was immediate.

“The feedback from the participants afterwards was positive and enthusiastic, and put us on a good road for future training,” she said

The trainees are over half way through the Certificate, which was capped at 14 months instead of the three-year training option.

The lessons consist of part theory, part practical and there has been great satisfaction in seeing a Council infrastructure project, which had been sidelined for a long period, completed by the students as part of their training.

The Training Incentives program covered the project cost. “We were very lucky to be eligible for several incentives, such as Adult Apprenticeship and CITB Incentives, to name a few, which helped tremendously with covering costs for nine staff, from a total of 14 depot employees, to be off work and in training one whole day per month,” said Ms Faehrmann.

“We are all looking forward to the final assessments in the next couple of months and then enjoying a well deserved commemorative graduation night for the Depot Staff. They have been exceptional students, surprising themselves with their own ability to learn and develop new skills.”