Michael (34) completed CSQ’s Trade Start program back in 2015 as a mature-age student in Toowoomba.

Five years later, he is the owner of his own landscaping business and is in the position of offering employment to a new generation of Trade Start – Ned McKay (18).

The Trade Start program provides work experience placements in construction, career direction and guidance on work principles and workplace expectations.

The experience gained through the program creates hard working future employees, and 80% of Trade Start participants secure jobs when finishing the program.

Michael was quick to turn to his Trade Start trainer Rod at Hutchies when looking to secure an apprentice, knowing how much it had shaped him when he was just starting out.

Rod introduced Michael to Ned, who after just three months’ work experience, was offered full-time employment with Michael.“Ned has great qualities. He’s a really good worker too and is always on time!”

Like a lot of high school graduates, Ned did not have a lot of career direction before Trade Start. The program provides more than just a practical/ theory experience, teaching participants how to go about applying for jobs.

Looking back on his training, Ned says creating resumes and cover letters, seeking work experience, leaving voice mails and calling/emailing potential employers were some of the most valuable (other than the hands on experience) skills he learned.

“When I first started working with Michael, it was really hard work and I was really nervous. I stuck at it and it became easier and I started to enjoy it. Michael is very nice and respectful with a great work environment,” says Ned.

This moment is a nice ‘circle of life’ moment, where the apprentice becomes the master and takes on an apprentice to teach them the ways of the work.

Find out about the Trade Start.