Martina Behncke - one of the trainees working at the Mary Valley Rattler.
Martina Behncke - one of the trainees working at the Mary Valley Rattler.

18 traineeships help Gympie jobless

THE Mary Valley Rattler is playing a key role in the future of 18 Gympie residents by offering them traineeships and a track to long-term employment.

Two intakes of nine previously unemployed local residents will be working at the Rattler as part of the Queensland Government-funded Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

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Co-ordinated by Energy Skills Queensland, the 20-week program is designed exclusively for not-for-profit organisations such as the Mary Valley Rattler to support their local communities.

The first intake is already in place, with the nine trainees working in business operations, hospitality and in conservation and land management roles. A second intake will begin with the Rattler in late October.

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The trainees go through a full recruitment and induction process to provide a typical employment experience and help develop their vocational skills.

“Our goal is to make the traineeships as relevant as possible to strengthen the trainees’ long-term employment potential,” says Sebastian Ross-Hagebaum, Program Manager – Workforce Skilling for Energy Skills Queensland.

Valley Rattler
Valley Rattler

“The trainees apply for their jobs through Seek, they have to submit applications and are then interviewed for the positions by our team. This really boosts their skills and provides them with greater confidence in applying for and retaining jobs.

“We also provide assistance to the trainees throughout their placement, and after they successfully complete the 20-week program they receive a nationally-accredited Certificate I qualification, which can be a very important stepping stone for future employment.

“The program is all about building and strengthening communities, so we are particularly pleased to be partnering with such a local community icon as the Mary Valley Rattler.”

Mary Valley Rattler General Manager, Micheal Green, said it was tremendous to have such an enthusiastic group of young Gympie residents – from a wide cross-section of the local community – coming through the traineeship program.

The Mary Valley Rattler station in Gympie. Picture: Shane Zahner
The Mary Valley Rattler station in Gympie. Picture: Shane Zahner

“The Rattler is all about community and ‘giving back’, so to be able to help trainees develop vocational skills and provide such a positive pathway for longer-term employment is very rewarding,” said Mr Green.

“The Mary Valley Rattler is a relatively small organisation, so it is a very hands-on experience for the trainees, dealing directly with skilled employees as well as our group of dedicated volunteers and of course our visitors.

“The return of the Rattler two years ago provided an enormous benefit to local businesses across the region, and now we are contributing directly to upskilling local community members.

“We hope the skills they learn while being at the Rattler not only nurture their own careers but directly benefit other Gympie organisations who employ them. When trainees successfully complete the traineeship program, they bring a wage incentive to their future employer, which will further encourage local employment within the Gympie community.”

This Skilling Queenslanders for Work project is funded by the Queensland Government.