Student and retail trainee Ben Shepherd learns the basics.
Student and retail trainee Ben Shepherd learns the basics. Renee Pilcher

Trainees to the rescue

TRAINEES may be one big source of hope for businesses faced with dramatic changes in their financial environment, according to TAFE Gympie campus co-ordinator Corrie McColl.

But Gympie businesses warn that employers need be aware of the ethical obligations that go along with government grants and training subsidies associated with formal traineeships.

Mr McColl said formally recognised trainees could be invaluable for many businesses, including shopkeepers struggling to cope with longer trading hours.

Training can be combined with regular education also, with students able to give up one school day a week for working or one subject at school, so they can use that time for theoretical study associated with their traineeship.

But Glen Shepherd, of Shepherd's Betta Electrical, said employers also needed to remember the needs of their trainees if the arrangement was going to be a success for all concerned.

"People can get them in for a quick fix, but you have to train them too."

Mr Shepherd's son Ben is training at the family's Duke St store.

Ben's combining spare time work at the store with studies at Gympie State High School, in association with TAFE's Gympie campus.

"Ben dropped drama, which was no drama, and he studies for his traineeship in the time that creates," Mr Shepherd said.

"Traineeships (involving TAFE accreditation) are a great opportunity to expand your workforce and keep costs down, while at the same time providing someone with training, qualifications and real work experience," Mr McColl said.

Gympie Times


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