Trainee intake takes off

Article image - Trainee intake takes off New Council trainees Tom Murray, Jordan Mendez, Zoe McMillan and Jasmin MacDonald commenced work in September.

Wollongong City Council’s largest ever intake of trainees started work across civil and park areas in September.

Council called for applications in July for 21 labourer traineeships from people young and old to gain valuable work experience and develop long-term skills.

The intake followed a review of relief and temporary labour hire arrangements within Council’s City Works and Services Division.

Council’s Executive approved the recruitment of 21 new trainees with the aim of reducing the Division’s risk profile and gain operational cost efficiencies in the parks and civil delivery areas.

Recruiting trainees is a critical component for Council’s future workforce/succession planning.

While Council already runs a successful traineeship program, this year marked the largest single intake of traineeships and was supported by an intensive marketing and recruitment campaign.

Council hosted its first trainee expo at its South Depot for those interested in applying.

There were machinery and equipment displays along with Council staff and TAFE representatives on hand to answer questions about what was involved.

More than 300 people attended the expo and resulted in 264 applications.

The new trainees commenced work with the City Services’ Work Crews in each of Council’s three depots in September and are aged between 16 and 40 years. They have varied backgrounds including recent school leavers, people from different cultures and people with disabilities.

The new trainees are involved in all aspects of City Works services from working in parks and reserves, landscaping, on road and footpath projects and on beachside dunes while they complete a Certificate II in Local Government [Operational Works].

Mark Roebuck, Council’s Manager City Works and Services, said, “It’s essential that Council continues to provide employment and development opportunities for people within the city and broader Illawarra Region.  

“Council will always have a need for a number of skilled crews of various disciplines to maintain and construct essential public infrastructure projects and services throughout the city.

“Council is committed to having a service delivery team that reflects our community and therefore embraces diversity.

“A specific objective of Council’s Workforce Diversity Policy and Management Plan is to attract and recruit a workforce from a variety of selection and recruitment practices, building strong community relationships and working with groups who are underrepresented in our workforce.

“These traineeships are an opportunity for people to build long-term skills by combining hands-on experience and studies in a supportive environment.

“It is Councils vision to gain a reputation as a training organisation of choice for prospective employers seeking highly skilled employees.”