A Carpenter from Redcliffe was today presented with a prestigious Queensland Overseas Foundation Scholarship which will enable him to work overseas.
The Governor of Queensland and QOF Patron, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, presented the award at Parliament House to Joshua Merritt, aged 22.
Mr Merritt’s Award is the first Scholarship awarded under the newly created CSQ Building and Construction Industry – QOF Scholarship category which has come about through a partnership between Construction Skills Queensland and the Queensland Overseas Foundation.
Mr Merritt said he would use the Scholarship to travel to Italy where he hopes to reconnect with his Italian family heritage, gain valuable work experience in his vocation, learn new techniques and experience working with different materials, all while living in a completely different culture and environment.
“The CSQ Building and Construction Industry – QOF Scholarship will help me gain access to building and construction practices and materials that I might not otherwise be able to experience,” Mr Merritt said.
“I love working as a carpenter and builder in Queensland and I am excited about learning from the best overseas.”
"I want to return to Queensland with new skills and a fresh perspective on my industry.”
“Having the support of the Queensland Overseas Foundation and my sponsor Construction Skills Queensland gives me a lot of confidence that I will be successful.”
“I encourage other Queenslanders to apply for this Scholarship because it really does open doors for you and help you to gain experience that will boost your career.”
Queensland Overseas Foundation Chair Geoff Favell said the Scholarships would benefit Queensland industries in the long term.
“Since 1976 we have helped 113 Queenslanders pursue their dream of working overseas knowing they will bring their skills back home and offer considerable benefit to our industries,” Mr Favell said.
“Some of our previous winners have gone on to do incredible things. For example, Leo Primus, a construction project manager has gone on to manage large infrastructure projects in Queensland since returning from his Scholarship.”
“This is an invaluable opportunity for the Scholarship recipients but also for the communities they return to and the Queensland Vocational Education and Training sector.”
CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said it was a privilege to sponsor this award and support a young carpenter on his journey to learn and develop his skills and build a career.
“It is essential to Queensland’s construction industry to support skills development and training to ensure we have the right people and skills for the future, and to provide greater support to our network of apprentices,” he said.
“Dedicated scholarships mean we can help to provide better training opportunities and help mentor apprentices to increase the skilling ability of the Queensland building and construction industry and create a more sustainable future.”
The Queensland Overseas Foundation is a voluntary non-profit organisation, sponsored by Queensland Industry including Construction Skills Queensland and BUSY At Work and supported by the State Government. The Foundation provides international vocational experience to specially selected young tradespersons who have completed their formal training.
The Foundation also offers a bursary that provides trainers, employers, employees and administrators within the Vocational Education and Training sector with funding to attend recognised international courses, workshops, work placement, events or activities with professional developmental benefits.
You can register your interest in applying for the 2019 awards or the Global Connections Bursary through the website www.qof.org.au.