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Kelsie Barber, a graduate of the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program

Kelsie Barber, a graduate of the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program

When Kelsie Barber commenced her traineeship with Elders Real Estate Chinchilla in May last year she was a quiet and shy young girl with no real understanding for where her future career path would be taking her.

Fast forward seventeen months and today Ms Barber stands tall as a young and confident woman with clear career ambitions to go all the way to the top.

Ms Barber is one of the first graduates from 200 trainees and apprentices expected to come through the QGC Strengthening Local Workforces Program.

The three year partnership between QGC and BUSY At Work was formulated to attract apprentices and trainees into careers outside the natural gas industry.

Principle and part owner of Elders Real Estate, Chinchilla Ms Tess Bourke said that the program has provided support both to Kelsie and to her as the employer. “The program has given Kelsie the leg up any young person needs to start out in the workforce,” Ms Bourke said.

“Kelsie is a breath of fresh air. She was so quiet when she first started and we now know she has a fantastic sense of humour and she is a little louder now. So much so her new title is The Director of First Impressions,” Ms Bourke added with a smile.

BUSY At Work CEO, Mr Paul Miles said that BUSY At Work played an integral role to the success of the program. “Our function at BUSY is aimed at improving completion and retention rates through matching local businesses with the right apprentice or trainee.

“To achieve this we provide a structured and continuous mentoring, skill development and care program throughout the life of the apprenticeship helping to safeguard our participants and keep them on the right track and focussed on their career goals.

“Further to this we provide important life skills training such as budgeting, communication and teamwork skills to compliment the technical aspects of the formal training,” Mr Miles said.

QGC Vice President of Sustainability, Mr Brett Smith, said QGC was delighted to partner with BUSY at Work on this important community initiative.

“QGC’s $3.5 million investment in the Strengthening Local Workforces Program has helped generate 200 new jobs in non-resources industries spanning sectors from health to hospitality, administration to automotive services,” said Mr Smith.

“In addition to providing participants with learning opportunities and job skills, the Program is ensuring that people across the Western Downs, Gladstone, North Burnett and Banana regions have diverse employment options outside the resources sector.”

Ms Barber said that the traineeship provided many more options for her future. “The skills I have gained have been a huge stepping stone helping me decide my path,” she said.

“When I started this job in Administration I just wanted to develop basic admin skills, not thinking I wanted to go any further into Real Estate.

“I have since decided that I love it and want to stick with it. It has also allowed me to step out of my shell and given me so much more confidence.

“I now know I want to keep moving forward in the real estate industry, get my Real Estate Licence and move up to a sales agent,” Ms Barber said.

Ms Barber now holds a Certificate III in Business. She was one of thirteen trainees and apprentices who celebrated with over 50 guests including family members and employers from across the Western Downs at the Chinchilla Palms Motor Inn on Thursday evening. The second graduation from the Program will take place in Gladstone this Thursday.

For further information about apprenticeships and traineeships call 13 BUSY (13 28 79) or go to www.busyatwork.com.au


Photo Caption: Left to Right: Laura Smith, Thomas Barlow, Michelle Elder, Zane Watson, Cassandra Rush, Kaleb Gaul, Leesa Davies, Kelsie Barber, Sue Loch – Busy at Work, Brett Smith – QGC

MEDIA CONTACT: Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator
0438 173 960 or (07) 5585 4403

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