Training to verify skills on the job
INDUSTRY training is a practical issue at all levels for Gympie TAFE and the engineering companies it is working with to help employers and employees obtain verifiable qualifications.
Luke Roulston at Gympie’s CPM Engineering said the arrangement with TAFE was a big help in training staff.
The Waddell Rd firm had a big commitment to training with 20% of its 40-strong workforce engaged as apprentices, he said.
TAFE’s involvement comes with 85% funding from the government training body, Manufacturing Skills Queensland.
The employer, in this case CPM Engineering, funds the other 15%.
“CPM have a really good commitment to training,” said TAFE’s Gympie business co-ordinator, Corrie McColl.
He says CPM has also challenged many people’s preconceptions about engineering workshops, often imagined as dark and dingy places, usually dirty.
“But this one is light and airy,” he said, as apprentice fitters and turners Hayden Lier and Matt Grady worked with metal drilling equipment in the background.
Mr Roulston said TAFE training was helping nine of its staff to upskill in welding, an important area for certified qualifications because of the need for precise and expert work in high pressure situations, including steam pipes.
Certified training gave the firm and its employees something that could be shown to customers and employers to prove competence in such highly skilled and important areas, especially with a mining boom creating huge shortages of many skills.
Mr Roulston said it was also important for the company to maintain a high skill level among its staff, to help the company remain competitive in both local and overseas markets.
It also helps companies maintain high safety standards.
“Safety is our number one priority,” he said.
“We do some work for Nestle, some for concrete industries and some for mining companies.
“We make a lot of drilling gear for mining exploration.”
All up, nine CPM employees are training to up-skill in welding certification.
It is a training opportunity also being accessed by Morgan Engineering, Gympie Welding Works and Smiths Engineering, according to Mr McColl.
“All up there are 22 employees accessing this funding to increase their skills and productivity.”
Participants will study the theory of the welding certification online with practical assessment in Gympie.