ADDRESSING workplace shortages and how to do so in Leeton shire was one of the key themes of a recent event in town.
TAFE Leeton held a business breakfast on May 20 with around 20 residents taking part to hear how they can work with schools, TAFE NSW and government agencies like Training Services NSW, to get young people into careers early.
Several guest speakers spoke on the morning, many talking about their own careers and how they have helped businesses across the board to navigate the apprenticeship and traineeship system.
TAFE Services co-ordinator Nicholas Wright organised the event and said it was important for small businesses to know their options.
"The school-based apprenticeship and traineeship program is something that can result in positive career outcomes for high school students and which helps business owners and managers to fill long-term staffing gaps by developing the skills and experience of local young people," he said.
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"This is a long term strategy to provide opportunities for locals in the Murrumbidgee region, as well as reduce the uncertainty that businesses face trying to secure adequate staff numbers.
"For families out there our message is you don't have to leave school to start an apprenticeship or traineeship - you can get the best of both worlds.
"Get a job sorted out before you even leave school. Try something and find out if it's right for you and you'll be way ahead in your career journey."
Mr Wright said some businesses felt they were overly reliant on bringing in workers from overseas on temporary visas and would prefer to put locals first.
However, sometimes they don't have a choice when they can't fill these gaps in the workforce.
"Many business people don't know where to start when trying to find an apprentice or a trainee," Mr Wright said.
This is a long term strategy to provide opportunities for locals in the Murrumbidgee region, as well as reduce the uncertainty that businesses face trying to secure adequate staff numbers.- Nicholas Wright
"Attendees (at the breakfast) gave positive feedback and, most importantly, made some really useful contacts from the recruitment sector and from the government sector from whom they will be able to get advice from.
"We definitely want to run more breakfast sessions. There are thousands of businesses in the MIA, many of which could benefit from a stronger relationship with their local schools and TAFE NSW.
"These workforce planning issues are not insurmountable, if we work together. (These) events can help strengthen those links and spread the word to more small business people that they are not alone in this."
Mr Wright said it was his main priority to support the Leeton community and assist businesses with their options.
"Anyone who is interested in exploring the possibilities school-based apprenticeships and traineeships can offer should get in touch and start a conversation," he said.
For more information contact Mr Wright on 0409 691 427 or email@example.com.
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