The Honourable Sue Ellery MLC, Minister for Training and Education, paid a visit to Schlam’s workshop in Waroona in early December 2019 to meet its current intake of apprentices and trainees.
Working in collaboration with registered training organisation, Group Training South West, Schlam has a dedicated apprenticeship program employing and training local youth to ensure a skilled and local workforce.
According to Schlam Group General Manager Glenn Brearey, the five apprentices and three trainees all live within a 20-kilometre radius of the 2,000 square metre facility adding to the utility of the region.
“Our apprentice programme has been a great success for many years and has resulted in adding many tradespeople to the workforce, several of whom still work for the company and our major clients in the area such as Newmont Boddington Gold and Alcoa.
“To date, nearly 30 apprentices have been through Schlam, and the company is already in discussions to recruit talented young individuals to begin in early 2020,” said Mr Brearey.
Speaking to the media after touring the workshop Minister Ellery applauded Schlam’s commitment to employ locally.
“Far too many times, regional kids have to move to take up a traineeship or apprenticeship. A company like this that has the policy to hire locally means not only that kids can stay in town around family, but also that they can spend their wages in the local community too,” said Minister Ellery.
Five apprentices are currently undertaking a Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication, including Waroona resident 18-year-old Zachary Faulkner.
Now in his second year with Schlam, he says that the hand’s on experience that he’s gaining will hold him in good stead for opportunities in the future.
“Everything that we work on is large-scale, and you can see where you’ve made your contribution, which is rewarding as you can see these big pieces of equipment evolve with every step you make,” said Zach.
Minister Ellery noted that when business is tough, one of the easy things to drop off is training but commended Schlam for bucking that trend.
“We are committed to working with local businesses such as Schlam providing financial assistance to help with the cost of employing apprentices and trainees and reducing the cost of training in areas where jobs are available,” said Minister Ellery.
While grateful for the Government’s assistance, Waroona Business Manager Rob Jennings said that Schlam could not run the programme without support from our major local clients such as Newmont Boddington Gold, Alcoa and others in the South West.
“It is important that our clients continue with their local content strategy and support the regional businesses such as ours,” finished Mr Jennings.