With only a week to go until the music officially begins, the Gympie Music Muster site in the Amamoor State Forest is quickly taking shape thanks to the assistance of valuable trainees.
With nine SkillCentred Queensland ‘Skilling Queenslanders for Work’ trainees on site with their supervisor, they have been constructing fences, fencing, building the smokers’ corral, helping to build bars, and generally anything that’s needed doing.
The 8-10 weeks they spend at the Muster site is part of a 21-week traineeship which, at the conclusion, they earn their Certificate I in Construction and are work-ready.
SkillCentred Queensland Gympie CEO Alicia Cord said the trainees complete work for not-for-profit organisations such as the Gympie Music Muster and other community groups, and they gain work experience and self-confidence.
“The groups supply the materials and we supply the labour and know-how,” she said.
“For the participants who get out there, it’s not only about the training and work side, it’s about going to work each day because some of the participants have not had work history for a while. To go out there and help the Muster and help themselves is really great.”
SkillCentred Queensland Gympie chair Gerry Crotty, a longterm Muster volunteer, agreed.
“SkillCentred Queensland participants have been working on the Muster for about 30 years and have built everything from toilet blocks, extended and renovated the Main Stage, done painting, general construction and have been building fences,” he said.
“They also supply the Muster with vehicles – courtesy cars and courtesy buses, have put in cash sponsorship, and done a lot of our white card and RSA training.
“This 21-week traineeship is designed to help break the cycle of unemployment because the participants have a great sense of wellbeing and a sense of achievement whilst they will pick up some skills, and we’re hoping they will all come to the Muster.”
Mr Crotty said this traineeship has proven to fundamentally change how the participants look at their lives and what they achieve.
“SkillCentred has a success rate between 60-90 per cent of employment following the traineeship because we give them the motivation and incentive and assist them to find on-going and meaningful employment,” he said.
Based in Gympie, SkillCentred Queensland aims to give back to the community with each project and the participants get the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of their labour, giving them confidence to enter the workforce with new skills.