Young apprentices are seizing the opportunities for local training and career pathways in their home town.
Businesses across Wee Waa have active programs of apprentice and trainee recruitment, a testament to their confidence in the district and a vote of confidence by their young employees.
Branch manager at Kenway and Clark, Sam Collier, said the company had a strong and long-standing policy on employing and training local people.
“We have a big apprenticeship program, ongoing every year,” he said.
“We ‘grow our own’ we are very big on internal growth.”
An apprenticeship at Kenway and Clark is an attractive proposition for a young person.
“Our apprentices have the opportunity to work with a variety of machinery types and applications, trucks, agricultural, civil equipment and they have the capability of work at other branches in the Kenway and Clark network” said Mr Collier.
The branch opportunities extend over a big area, about 135,000 square kilometres. That’s about the size of Portugal.
The majority of the current apprentices are Wee Waa locals – apprentice Matt Crothers moved to Wee Waa from the Northern Territory to take up his position at Kenway and Clark.
Meanwhile, the prospects look promising for the Wee Waa district and for Kenway and Clark, Mr Collier added.
“With 2020 behind us, a record year, we are looking ahead to 2021.
“The optimism across the district is exceptional, which translates into good prospects for Wee Waa.”
And Kenway and Clark has plans for growth, he added.
“We are part of the community.
“As a veteran farmer said to me once, ‘stick top the black soil in the tough times and it will stick to you in the good times.’
“And we will be sticking here to help Wee Waa grow.”
Namoi Tyres’ operator Mitch Hamilton is a long-time exponent of providing opportunities for young people.
“We have a policy of employing young people and giving them opportunities.”
Over the years Mitch has taken on and trained many young Wee Waa people.
Currently Year 10 student Braiden Collett, 15, is undertaking a TAFE course, with three days of TAFE and two days at Namoi Tyres each week.
Proprietor of Wee Waa Newsagency, Roxanne Whitton, has employed Phoebe Paulston as a retail management trainee since the start of the year.
Phoebe undertakes all the daily business of the store, greeting customers and attending to sales, a cheerful asset to the business.
Phoebe already knew the business well and had started at the newsagency at the end of Year 6, embarking on the traineeship from January 4 this year on the traineeship and is loving the role.
Britto’s Engineering has a large complement of apprentices on the team.
Apprentices at Brittos, all Wee Waa locals, range from first year through to fourth year apprenticeships.
Angus Galagher, Saxon Paulston and Bailey Organ are first year apprentices, Owen Williams is in his fourth year at Brittos and Nathan Suckling is a fourth year apprentice.
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