Oct 6, 2021 | 0 comments



Media Release

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development

The Honourable Di Farmer

Palaszczuk Government funds to kickstart Fraser Coast and Bundaberg trade careers



A brand new, employment based, pre apprenticeship pathway will help Wide Bay locals kickstart their engineering careers as part of a $25 million investment from the Palaszczuk Government.

The Pre-Apprenticeship Support program, which will extend several existing programs as well as introducing the new pathway, will help hundreds of Queenslanders secure the training they need for the job they want.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said East Coast Apprenticeships was one of the Group Training Organisations (GTOs) being funded through the GTO Pre-Apprenticeship Program.

“Businesses right across Wide Bay are crying out for workers, which is why investing in skills is a key priority of the Palaszczuk Government’s $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Minister Farmer said.

“For this new pre apprenticeship pathway we are working with seven GTOs who will recruit and train 301 people aged between 15 to 24 years old to complete a certificate I level qualification in construction, engineering, or hospitality.

“This pathway allows people to explore the different options open to them before embarking on an apprenticeship, meaning when they do take that step, they’re much more likely to successfully complete it.”

Member for Bundaberg, Tom Smith said East Coast Apprenticeships was one of the Group Training Organisations (GTOs) being funded through the GTO Pre-Apprenticeship Program.

“East Coast Apprenticeships will recruit three intakes in Bundaberg and Maryborough, three in Hervey Bay, and one in North Brisbane. They will provide tailored support to prepare participants to step into apprenticeships with the skills and understanding so they can contribute from their first day.” Mr Smith said

“It is exciting to support tailored pathways across the state that are targeting key industries and responding to local needs.”

East Coast Apprenticeships CEO Alan Sparks said delivering their Enhanced Pathways Program across Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Bundaberg was an exciting opportunity.

“This program can be game changer for these three communities because it combines a robust selection process with upfront training that industry has told us they want and we are delivering this in regions that are tackling higher than average unemployment,” Mr Sparks said.

“We’ve been talking with local businesses and I’ve heard from a builder with more than 18 months work booked in.  Along with engineering and hospitality businesses they need to find, train and retain more workers in order to get their operations back up and running after the impacts of COVID.

“Being able to offer this paid pathway will be fantastic because we’ve seen great candidates pass on similar opportunities because they couldn’t afford to leave their part-time work in order to complete some training.”

Member for Hervey Bay, Adrian Tantari said East Coast Apprenticeships has joined forces with four other Group Training Organisations delivering this unique Palaszczuk Government initiative from Townsville, Wide Bay/Fraser Coast to Brisbane North and South, and in Toowoomba and Roma. 

“This is one part of the Palaszczuk Government’s two-year, $25 million Pre-apprenticeship Support program, which is also increasing support for existing programs that support people looking to start a trade career or want to advance in their current trade,” Mr Tantari said.

“Those who complete the program will be supported to transition into a subsequent apprenticeship, either employed by the GTO or with another employer.

Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders said the three other funded GTOs will support participants across South East Queensland, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Townsville.

“Registered Trade Skills Pathways and Trade Skills Assessment and Gap Training provide complementary pathways for people who have experience in an industry to earn a recognised qualification that will help them take the next steps on their career paths.” Mr Saunders said

“There’s more than $1 billion for training and skills this year alone, as we know that if you get the right training, you’re much more likely to get the right job.

“The Palaszczuk Government is also expanding assistance through Queensland’s Out of Trade Register, which the Apprentice Employment Network administers.”

Minister Farmer said Queensland needs to attract, train and retain more skilled workers so industries that are growing now, and in the future, can call on a job ready workforce and increase our economic productivity.

The Pre-Apprenticeship Support Program is funded through the $200 million Future Skills Fund. For further information visit www.desbt.qld.gov.au/training/future-skills-fund or call 1300 369 935.



Media contact: Kate Talbot,  07 4124 2526