Western Downs Regional Council has welcomed one of its largest contingents of trainees and apprentices to the team this month, with 14 locals chosen from a record number of applicants. Council Spokesperson for Finance and Corporate Services Councillor Ian Rasmussen said Council’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship Program was helping give local school leavers their first start.

“We have a really big cohort this year with 14 trainees and apprentices joining us out of what was an incredible response to our call out for this year’s program,” he said. “It’s always hard to get started in anything, so we’re very excited to be able to give them this opportunity to start their first job, learn a set of skills and get some experience.”

Cr Rasmussen said with so many talented people working with Council it makes it a great place to get your foot in the door.“It’s such a great place for school leavers, and those wanting to return to the workforce to learn and build their knowledge so they can use that in an interview to go forth into a new job if they don’t stay with us,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone really has any idea of the wide range of areas we work across at Council, so I can just see our new trainees and apprentices going into their next job interview and saying ‘look I’ve got experience in this many areas.”

For the second year running Council has joined forces with Arrow Energy and AFL SportsReady to give the region’s young Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders a competitive edge in the workforce, with two trainees joining the ranks.

AFL SportsReady Trainee Merranda Poole said she was excited to learn some valuable office and admin skills after working with cattle on her parent’s property near Jandowae.

“Everyone knows at least someone who’s worked for Council, it’s such a prestigious place to work that I was really excited when I got the phone call,” she said.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the admin systems and record-keeping side of Council because I haven’t had much experience in office-type work before and I really wanted the qualification.”

Western Downs Regional Council’s 2018 Traineeship and Apprenticeship Program received funding through the Queensland Government’s First Start Program.

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