Townsville City Council has welcomed seven indigenous work placement students as part of the Choice Pathways program.
Choice Pathways is funded by the Queensland Government under the VET in Schools (VETiS) initiative.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said this program is the first of its kind for Council.
“This program is the pilot for Council and I am genuinely pleased to have these students on-site for their first week of placement,” Cr Hill said.
“All the students involved in this initial program are undertaking a Cert I in Construction and will spend the rest of this year getting valuable work experience.
“I’d like to thank the Queensland Government for their support funding this initiative and giving our local students the opportunity to experience a real working environment.”
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said the Choice Pathway program – in partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council – will help students gain valuable training to get a job.
“VETiS is providing more and more young Queenslanders with training and skills at an early age, giving them a head start before they walk out of the classroom,” Ms Fentiman said.
“And it’s fantastic that Queensland is leading the way with the more than 50% participation in VETiS across secondary students, bucking the national trend of around 30%.”
Governance and Finance Committee Chair Cr Verena Coombe said Council was ensuring the city’s future workforce was trained with the right skills.
“This Council has continued to support a record level of apprentices and trainees over the past two years,” Cr Coombe said.
“On average, Council has over 100 apprentices and trainees learning new skills throughout the year from business administration, electrical, environmental conservation and many more areas.”
Cr Hill said the Choice Pathways is designed to help local indigenous students transition into the workforce.
“Council has committed to training the next generation of Townsville’s workforce and through this initiative we can provide these opportunities to our indigenous students,” Cr Hill said.
“Council wants to see an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to 8% of staff – this is one way we are working towards this.”