OPENING THE GATEWAY TO CAREER PATHS. With such a strong emphasis on university, vocational education pathways can sometimes get lost in the discussion around the future of our young people.
To address this issue, local companies CJD Equipment and My Gateway have formed a highly successful collaboration to educate the local community and provide support and guidance on how a trade can prove to be a very rewarding career path.
“We need to support the local youth and inform them that obtaining a trade is a very successful career starting point; said Norman Atkinson, CJD Equipment’’s State
The 15+ year collaboration between Macarthur based group training organisation, My Gateway, and construction equipment and trucks distributor, CJD Equipment, has seen many apprentices provided with a strong environment to learn and flourish.
My Gateway recruits quality and relevant candidates for its host employers and provides ongoing support and mentoring to apprentices, trainees and host employers
from recruitment through to the completion of training.
Since 2004, CJD Equipment has taken on many My Gateway apprentices and trainees, in a variety of roles, including mobile plant mechanics, auto electricians and warehousing staff. Nine apprentices and trainees are currently hosted to CJD’s Smeaton Grange site and three at its Newcastle branch. CJD Equipment also has branches located in each of the other states and territories. A business administration trainee also recently started at the Smeaton Grange branch.
A strong partnerships important in any industry and My Gateway and CJD Equipment have worked successfully for several very clear reasons. One is key, according to Norman Atkinson, CJD Equipment’’s State Service Manager.
“The partnership has evolved for one main reason- the focus is on the apprentice and trainee, and assisting them become not only good tradesmen, but also good people?”
Steve Horn, My Gateway’s Field Team Leader believes the partnership works because both businesses care deeply about serving young people in the local community.
“Our main goal is to educate young people in the Macarthur area,’ he said. “It’s important to us to give them an opportunity to pursue a career path in the automotive and construction equipment industry.’
Unique Approach Delivers Results
According to Steve, CJD Equipment adopts a unique approach to caring for and nurturing its apprentices. Over his 10 years with My Gateway, he has seen hundreds of young people enter the workforce and has been directly involved in this collaboration.
Steve mentors the apprentices and puts in a lot of work to ensure they succeed and has personally seen the dedication of the CJD Equipment team in welcoming these young employees.
“During the recruitment process, one of CJD Equipment’s criteria is to have the candidate’s parents or guardians attend the interview,’ Steve explained.
“This gives the parents a good understanding of where their child may be working for the next four years and the commitment involved in an apprenticeship,’ Steve said.
Steve has seen apprentices grow from young school leavers with little confidence, into experienced tradesmen and believes this is directly related to the training and nurturing provided by CJD.
“These apprentices get the opportunity to work across all areas of the business, and gain an understanding that even the most mundane tasks are important.”
Norman highlighted that CJD’s help for these young people doesn’t just include work hours.
“We also take on larger responsibility and assist on weekends and after hours as required, as sometimes for these kids, they have no one else to call,’ Norman said
Local Success Story
Andrew Dargan,a local no win his second year as a plant mechanic apprentice at CJD through My Gateway is thoroughly enjoying his trade. He loves learning about the different machines and appreciates the environment created for apprentices like himself.
“Everyone here is really nice and friendly.It’s a good atmosphere to be amongst,’ Andrew said.
Andrew has a few years until he is a fully qualified mobile plant mechanic, but is already sharing advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship.
“Even if you’re unsure of what you really want to do in your life and where you want to go,at least go out and
give it a shot. You don’t know, you might love it or you might not, but just give it a go.”
“If you find something you really enjoy, get stuck into it and learn as much as you can.’
Norman agrees, with attitude being key to completing and flourishing in an apprenticeship.
“Attitude is everything. A good attitude and work ethic will take you further than you ever imagined. Skills can be taught, but attitude can’t.”
“We also use the ‘GOD’principle — ‘Good Old-fashioned Decency’. Use your manners and treat people how you
want to be treated.”
The Future of a Business
Steve believes it is important for aspiring CJD Equipment apprentices do their homework and not count on luck to land that dream job.
“| strongly advise any young person wanting to do an apprenticeship at a business like CJD Equipment to do their research to get an understanding of what the business is all about.’
“If they are still at school, they should contact CJD Equipment or My Gateway regarding the opportunity for work experience.”
Apprentices are clearly a huge part of CJD Equipment. The program is engrained in the business and the way
it supports these young people starting their careers is an important factor in how the business continues to move forward.
“CJD Equipment has a policy that every branch employs at least two apprentices in mechanical engineering roles each year,’ Norman said.
“Our aim is to enable them to start their careers at CJD Equipment and progress into the differing roles that are on offer. They also have the ability to move to different branches throughout Australia.”
“These apprentices are the future of our company.”
For more information on available apprenticeships and traineeships in the Macarthur region, go to
www.mygateway.org.au or call 1800 993 200. Visit www.cjd.com.au for more information on CJD Equipment.