Barry Crook from Energy Skills Queensland talks to former J Smith and Sons employees about finding work in the energy sector.
Barry Crook from Energy Skills Queensland talks to former J Smith and Sons employees about finding work in the energy sector. Craig Warhurst

Smith workers see hope in energy sector

ALMOST 30 former staff of trailer manufacturer J Smith and Sons attended a job workshop at the Gympie RSL yesterday.

Energy Skills Australia's Barry Crook was one of the speakers at the event and told the workers of the jobs available in the energy sector.

He said while the coal industry paid good money it was fairly volatile and could be affected by peaks and troughs in the market.

Other energy sector jobs like gas and oil were a lot more stable with most companies having long-term contracts.

Mr Crook went on to tell workers the best way to get into the industry and the positives and negatives of working away from home.

Other speakers spoke about fly-in, fly-out work arrangements and government entitlements.

Former factory manager Edgar Brus was on hand and made sure as many past employees as possible knew about the event.

He said a lot of the men were "feeling lost" after losing their jobs when J Smith and Son shut its doors on Monday, November 25, but yesterday's event had given hope to many workers.

"It was very positive," Mr Brus said. "It was a real eye opener."

One of the positive things to come out of the day was a planned bus trip to take the ex-workers to the gas fields.

"We have 27 for the trip already," Mr Brus said.

"We are going to look at the accommodation for the workers at the Surat Basin."

Mr Brus said Donna Neilson and Garry Davison did a great job of tidying up workers' resumes and submitting them online.

"A lot of the older workers aren't IT savvy," Mr Brus said.

"It was a great help.

"I can't believe the amount of help and co-ordination we got."

J Smith and Sons closed with 67 workers losing their jobs after economic conditions conspired against the 113-year-old company.

Manager Kerren Smith blamed government for walking out on Australia's manufacturing industry.

Gympie Times


VIDEO: Curra resident calls for action after accident

premium_icon VIDEO: Curra resident calls for action after accident

Community stands together to call for action.

3 men in court over violent Gympie home invasion

premium_icon 3 men in court over violent Gympie home invasion

Court appearances made by video from jail

IT'S ON TONIGHT: St Patrick's College v James Nash returns

premium_icon IT'S ON TONIGHT: St Patrick's College v James Nash returns

St Pat's bring a 45-0 thumping of Victory College to battle.