Gloucester’s father and son, Victor and Dale Tonks are among the first students to graduate from the new TAFE NSW Civil Construction training facility in Nabiac.
The 30 students completed their last day of the Certificate III in Plant Operations course on Wednesday, February 1.
Both Victor and Dale secured a job three weeks before the course finished, through LabourCo, on the Bucketts Way upgrade four kilometres east of Gloucester. Six other students have also found work, with more currently being interviewed.
Victor had worked previously as a labourer on a different section of the upgrade, but this is the first time he has gotten a job with the qualifications to use the equipment.
Dale was given the course information from his aunty (Victor’s sister), encouraging him to apply for the course with his dad.
“If I didn’t take up the course I swear I wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a week,” Dale said about his aunty’s influence over his decision.
Both father and son know how difficult it is to find work in Gloucester and are very happy to have secured a contract near home.
Dale recommends that others take the opportunity to complete the course and obtain new skills.
“Absolutely do it. The knowledge and experience you get in the course can take you anywhere. I hope to travel around Australia and the civil course gives me the ability to do it,” he said.
“You never know where it’s going to lead you,” Victor added.
Their site manager, Trevor Forbes said it’s better as an employer to hire people who already know how to use the equipment than having to train them up on the job.
“When we look to hire contractors, we look for people who have more skills so they can do more on the work site,” Trevor said.
The course ran for five hours per day, three days a week and covered both written and practical skills. The Nabiac site is a partner facility that TAFE uses to provide the students a place to work with the equipment.
Nick Casper, TAFE NSW Nabiac site supervisor and head trainer for TAFE NSW training partner TEAM Training, explained how the local training facilities offer excellent experience for people wanting to upskill or enter the civil construction industry.
“Our Nabiac civil construction training facility is one of only two sites in NSW to offer Moxy articulated haul truck training, a massive coup for the local area and local people looking at getting into the industry.”
Courses commence in February 2017. For further information or to enrol, call 1300 799 251 or email email@example.com.