Illawarra apprentice hopefuls get job taster

Michael Sherman did Trade Readiness to explore auto industry work.Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Michael Sherman did Trade Readiness to explore auto industry work.Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

A new program aimed at raising apprenticeship completion rates has given 75 young people a snapshot of working life before they decide on pursuing a trade.

Trade Readiness was developed by TAFE NSW in south-western Sydney in response to high drop-out numbers. According to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, about half of all apprenticeship contracts in the trades are not completed.

"This program is about understanding the obligations of the course and the role they are going into. If they know, then they are more likely to continue with it," said TAFE Illawarra Trades and Technology director Chris Outten.

"Some might decide to do something else. This helps them make a decision," he said.

The free program includes four days of hands-on training and a fifth day involving literacy, numeracy and career advice. Participants are assessed throughout the process.

"We're looking at their attitude, their punctuality, how they work together in a team and how they communicate," teacher Wayne Cavanagh said.

Participant Rylee Brisbane, 15, said she wanted to try auto body repair and finish after seeing her brother enter the industry.

"I thought if I come here and try what my brother's doing I might like it," she said. Rylee now hopes to further her experience in the field.

Michael Sherman, 25, saw the program as a second chance after missing out on a chance to work as a panel beater.

"I've always wanted to work on cars … with this course, I'll have a good idea if I want to do it or not," he said.

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