Trainer Brendan Condon and John Porter work with students to teach them about machinery.
Trainer Brendan Condon and John Porter work with students to teach them about machinery. Megan Pope

Practical training key to success

FIVE weeks ago, Matthew Bright was just one of the Fraser Coast's long-term unemployed - with no job, no goals, and no dreams.

The 23-year-old had never had a job and struggled to get his foot in the workplace door due to his lack of experience.

But after completing an innovative practical training course, he has just landed a job doing fencing work and his three classmates are all heading to the mines at Moranbah.

"Having someone give you a go was the hardest part because I had no experience," Mr Bright said.

Trainer Brendan Condon from Stickit Rural Training said his course focused on identifying students' ambitions and helping them get the practical experience to make their dreams a reality.

"It's not about getting qualifications - the only bit of paper they will get at the end is one they can fold up and put in their wallet: money," Mr Condon said.

"The course is different because it's getting away from just getting certificates and aiming at getting them an actual job."

After three days spent identifying each student's goal, they are taken out to property for practical experience relating to the kind of work they are looking for - including training in fencing and driving tractors and machinery.

Mr Condon's training is held in conjunction with Strategic Deployment Services, which gets jobseekers ready for work in the mines.

Once they are ready and motivated, the students go on to complete certificates through Strategic Deployment such as communications, occupational health and safety and risk-based management, which give them a head start in the industry.

"It can be very hard for long-term unemployed people to get into the mining sector," Mr Condon said. "So it's a fantastic result."

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