Macarthur crying out for apprentice carpenters

Master builder and the apprentice: Builder Bob Henderson with fourth-year apprentice Ethan Sanchez at a work site in Picton. Picture: Chris Lane
Master builder and the apprentice: Builder Bob Henderson with fourth-year apprentice Ethan Sanchez at a work site in Picton. Picture: Chris Lane

No TAFE fees, time off to study and a “virtually guaranteed” job as an apprentice carpenter.

It sounds like a deal too good to be true. But those offering the package – Campbelltown recruitment agency My Gateway – are at a loss to explain why few youngsters have taken them up on the offer.

At one stage last week there were about 10 carpentry apprenticeships up for grabs.

That number had come down slightly this week but My Gateway employment services manager Adam Farmer said the number would continue to fluctuate due to the region’s building boom.

“There are several reasons why it’s difficult to fill those positions, particularly carpentry. One of those is the sheer demand related to the building boom in our area,” he said.

“The demand outstrips the supply.

“We’ve been hearing industry and government talk about the critical skills shortage but that’s more acute here because of the boom.”

Mr Farmer said carpentry was an ideal job to take up and an apprenticeship through My Gateway would provide a solid foundation for a successful career.

“Apprentices get a combination of formal and on-the-job training,” he said.

“You leave TAFE with qualifications and a reference from a boss who said ‘I trained that guy, he’s a good worker who always turned up on time’.

“The other benefit is no TAFE fees. Apprentices don’t have to put their hand in their pocket to pay the fees.”

Bob Henderson – who owns R&G Henderson Builders – said a career in carpentry had several benefits.

“The work is good and you’re out in the open most of the time. You’re always on different jobs at different sites,” he said.

“The prospects of advancement are very good because you can do your builder’s licence after your apprenticeship.

“At the moment there is plenty of work in the Macarthur area so any carpenter worth half his salt can get a job.”

For information about the carpentry apprenticeships call 1800 993 200 or visit mygateway.org.au.

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