Building capacity in specialised field

Article image - Building capacity in specialised field General Manager, Chris Dewhurst, and Operations Manager, Chris Stanfield, with new graduates Toby Walker, Natalie James, Christina Senn.

Hawkesbury River County Council is located in Western Sydney and is the weeds authority for Blacktown, Hawkesbury, The Hills Shire and Penrith.

They recently celebrated the graduation of three trainees who had successfully completed a two-year Conservation and Land Management Certificate at TAFE NSW.

General Manager, Chris Dewhurst, explained the impetus for developing the program, “We have a small, but highly specialised staffing requirement in our industry.

“Establishing a traineeship program has allowed us to build our own capacity, with the likelihood of recruiting job ready people very low.

“Many of the successful trainees go on to be long term County Council employees.”  

Additionally, the traineeship has increased staffing diversity and there is now an equal gender balance and an even spread of ages in the outdoor operational team.

“There has been great interest from the local area for our positions.

“Many young people are keen to work in environmental roles that contribute to the community, but few pathways exist which provide a mixture of theory and professional experience.”

The next traineeship intake is planned for July 2019 and people can register their interest directly via council[@]hrcc.nsw.gov.au.