Wollongong council employs new interns

The largest single intake of new employees started their careers with Wollongong City Council yesterday.

Six cadets, four apprentices and 14 trainees have been added to the city's workforce and will fill various roles from aquatic services to engineering.

The cohort is part of a council program which helps engage and develop youth by providing employment opportunities.

In a bid to address high youth unemployment in the region, the council has this year introduced a Transitional Employment Program (TEP).

"[This intake] includes a diverse range of innovative opportunities to address youth unemployment in our region, providing a springboard for some of our youth to reach their full potential," Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

Joel Di Fonzo, 18, managed to score a position straight out of school as a civil engineering cadet.

"It gives you a chance to see what you like best," he said. "[It's about] experience and all the skills you can't get anywhere else.

"It's an unrivalled opportunity."

The council's six cadets will work in civil engineering, community cultural development, building surveying, supply chain and logistics, and in the library.

The four apprentices will be part of the council's horticultural program, while the trainees will be employed in aquatics, tourist parks, the graffiti crew, in the botanic garden, civil construction, information management, revenue, and as lifeguards.

Alongside this year's intake, the TEP will engage nine new trainees - three youths living with a disability, three new to Australia and three who are classified as disadvantaged.

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