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Zachary sets his sights on Stonemasonry career

Last year 15 year old Zachary Barnard had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. Not wanting to attend school and with little or no motivation, Zachary was struggling with his confidence and unsure how to move forward with his life.

Six months on Zachary has turned his life around and is now focused on pursuing a working career in a field he really enjoys.

Last October Zachary signed up for the Bladerunners Program through BUSY At Work Program Manager Pauline Grant-Smith. The training for this program is funded and supported by the Queensland Government through its Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

Ms Grant-Smith said the program was designed to help 15-19 year olds who have left school and want to get a foot in the construction industry by learning in a real work environment.

“During the seven week program Zachary showed plenty of commitment and was able to complete his Certificate I in Construction, Construction White Card and Life Skills training.”

“Following the program Zachary was still unsure of where he wanted to head in the future. In one-on-one appointments with Bladerunners Project Coordinator Zachary expressed an interest in Stonemasonry. His uncle had previously worked in this industry and had given him some insight into what it was all about.”

“BUSY then contacted Sally Javillonar from local Burleigh Heads Company, Cascades Stone Pty Ltd and Zachary was able to commence work experience on 1 February this year,” Ms Grant-Smith said.

Since then Zachary has not looked back and was rewarded for his efforts this week signing up as an Apprentice Stonemason undertaking his Certificate III with BUSY At Work.

During his time at the factory Ms Javillonar said Zachary had fitted in well with the team.

“Zachary has been a dedicated employee who has shown punctuality and a willingness to learn on the job. We are confident in Zachary’s ability and are keen for him to complete his apprenticeship with our company,” Ms Javillonar said.

Since starting at the factory Zachary said he had gained more confidence and was enjoying learning how to use power tools correctly and the skills required to repair and repolish kitchen and vanity bench tops.

“This is definitely the industry I want to work in. I like working hands-on with the saws, grinders and polishers. I’ve had the opportunity to work both in the workshop and onsite and while I enjoy both, onsite is my favourite as I love the installing processes.”

“I feel this job has helped me become more independent and I am keen to start saving for a car in the future,” Zachary said.

BUSY At Work, CEO Paul Miles said that BUSY was pleased to support local employers who were willing to give young people like Zachary an opportunity to work in his chosen career.

“At BUSY At Work we know how difficult it can be for young job seekers to adapt to a new working environment. Zachary has shown himself to be very capable and demonstrated that he is able to perform at a high level.”

“With the right training and mentoring he will make a valuable contribution not only to his employer but to the stonemasonry industry as a whole,” Mr Miles said.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work provides skills development, training and job opportunities to unemployed, disengaged or disadvantaged Queenslanders through a suite of targeted skills and training programs.

The Bladerunner course is delivered by Gold Coast Trades College course at Currumbin Waters and will kick start on the 3rd May 2016. To find out more contact Emma Tomms on 0448 622 557 or


Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

0438 173 960

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