Chicago apprentice scheme on track 

MAYOR Geoff Kettle has welcomed an initiative by Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia (CFCLA) to train up four new apprentices.

Southern Tablelands Group Training (STGT) and the Australian Business Apprenticeships Centre (ABAC) have also been working in partnership with CFCLA to provide better training and employment outcomes.

One of the apprentices Matthew Scott told the Post that he was excited about what he was doing to help boost the local economy.

“I feel that I will be supporting the local community, and furthering it economically,” he said.

Fellow apprentice David Moxon agreed.

“I also feel that this apprenticeship will be a great opportunity to learn some new skills, and be able to not only put them into practice, but also to stay local and provide for my family’s future,” he said.

CFCLA Workshop manager Mick Cooper told the Post that this was a great opportunity for these men to increase their local engineering trade skills.

“These four extra places have now grown our business from 32 staff up to 40, and we also have expansion plans for the future,” Mr Cooper said.

“This will include a new training centre for both CFCLA and the Australian Horsepower Service Centre (AHSC) which will increase our excellence in the training of fitters and turners and engineers of the future.”

Mayor Geoff Kettle congratulated CFCLA on identifying the need to support the local economy.

“CFCLA are strong supporters of the local Goulburn economy, and try whenever they can to employ local people,” he said.

“It’s also great to see them giving young residents an apprenticeship in a highly skilled trade.”

John Rawle from Southern Tablelands Group Training (STGT) told the Post that they initially carry out the recruiting and ongoing management of the apprentices in conjunction with CFCLA.

“We have built up a great relationship with CFCLA in training up local people and then assisting them throughout the whole training process,” Mr Rawle said.

Industry training consultant from the Australian Business Apprenticeships Centre (ABAC) Kelly Mulligan emphasised that the training component was an important part of increasing funding to both employees and apprentices.

“We carry out the national training contract with CFCLA, which gives us access to government funding for both the employees and the apprentices,” she said.

“The Australian government through their ‘Kickstart’ program launched last Friday has increased incentives for engineering trade employers to the tune of up to $7350 over the life of the apprenticeship. This means that along with the existing commencement incentive of $1500, an extra $850 bonus will be paid after six months, plus an additional $2500 paid at the end of the 12 months, and also another $2,500 at the completion of the apprenticeship.

Three of the four apprentices here today are eligible to receive these incentives.”

For more information on how to go about finding an apprenticeship with CFCLA, call workshop manager Mick Cooper on 4822 8710 or visit the website at www.cfcla.com.au.

Alternatively, contact John Rawle at Southern Tablelands Group Training (STGT) on 4822 5075, or visit the website at www.stgt.com.au.

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