Award winning trainees

Article image - Award winning trainees Third year Horticulture apprentice Cooper Conlan was recently named TAFE Parks and Gardens Apprentice of the Year.

Tweed Shire Council in New South Wales has been recognised as a training ground for talent, with several trainees and apprentices winning top awards.

Former and current Council trainees and apprentices were honoured recently with local, state and national awards through Programmed Skilled Workforce.

Former Council electrical apprentice Corey Goodall was named National Apprentice of the Year and previous Council IT trainee Michael Lever was named National Trainee of the Year.

Now based in Mackay, former Council fitter apprentice Matthew Matulovic was named the NSW Northern Apprentice of the Year while closer to home, current third year horticulture apprentice Cooper Conlan was named the TAFE Parks and Gardens Apprentice of the Year.

“At the moment I’m working down at Lovers Rocks at Duranbah getting to learn very different skills like construction and building as well as my trade as a horticulturalist,” Cooper Conlan said.

“It can be daunting starting an apprenticeship and starting at a whole new workplace, but Council is a really good place to learn, I’m comfortable here and I’m always asking questions.

“It’s helped me to grow and be a lot more confident about what I’m doing.”

Council’s Director Corporate Services, Liz Collyer, said providing increased employment opportunities for young people is a focus of Council’s Workforce Management Plan.

“We really need to plan for our future workforce needs here at Council and to build on the 13 per cent of employees we currently have who are under the age of 35,” she said.

“Council has trained nearly 140 cadets, apprentices and trainees since 1997, including 28 who have gone on to permanent careers at Council after their training.

“We currently have 18 apprentices and trainees and three cadets across the areas of building surveying, GIS, surveying, mechanical, electrical, carpentry, fitting and turning, metal fabrication and horticulture trades, business administration and aged care traineeships.”