Building a Better Future

Building a Better Future

With 1200 job seekers on his case load at any one time, Sean Challis is not interested in generating false hope with “training for the sake of training”.

The manager of Real Futures’ Gascoyne Community Development Program wants results, which the Training Alliance Group delivered with back-to-back courses in Carnarvon recently.

Twenty-four out of 27 people enrolled in the 16-week Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations graduated in May, following a similar success rate in the earlier course.

“For long-term courses, it’s extremely difficult to have more than five to 10 per cent pass, but because the engagement from the instructor was so good they held in there,” Mr Challis said.

“With the Cert III courses especially, it’s not just about throwing someone on the machine, it’s about getting to know each person individually, work out their weaknesses and work with them.”

He said TAG instructor Beau “Chilli” Hodkinson, who ran both courses and is also featured in the July staff profile, really took the time to engage each student.

“In that very first Cert Civil, we had an 18-year-old who couldn’t read or write, and he was going to chuck it in but we got him back and said ‘mate, we’ll help you’ – he passed,” Mr Challis said.

He was also pleased to see six young women in the second course, an unusually high number for construction, and said they excelled throughout.

The quality of the training also ensured that employers were lining up to take graduates, even before they had finished, with more than half walking straight into jobs.

“We had one participant who hadn’t been employed for ages and now he’s working for the council and has  gone from being a labourer to a supervisor within the first month,” he said.

“It’s all about changing someone’s life, always.

“You’re changing one person’s life, which changes their family’s life the moment they get a job.”