Electric experience works out for Jack

By CAITLIN SHERREY-DADD and EMILY ROBINSON

JACK Poultney always wanted to join the workforce early, so he was pretty pleased when he was offered an apprenticeship at Gem Car Sound Electricians.

Jack first started working with his boss, Glenn Colquhoun, 18 months ago as part of Bellingen High School's 'Work Readiness' program.

The program, funded by the NSW Government, places students in the workforce one day a week.

It has proved a great success with many of the more than 50 participating students gaining apprenticeships.

Specially designed for students wanting to leave at the end of Year 10, Jack said the program was perfect for him.

"I didn't really know much about auto electrics, but I decided to give it a go and then just got into it," Jack said.

Glenn Colquhoun, owner of Gem Car Sound Electricians, was more than willing to take on the 'work readiness' students at his business.

"I love school programs," Mr Colquhoun said.

"This year we have had five kids. It's great experience for them and it gives us a chance to guide them and assess their potential.

"Jack has a real aptitude for this work. He's the first apprentice I've taken on in nine years."

Jack starts his four-year apprenticeship next year and at this stage plans to pursue a career in auto electrics locally.

"I have learnt so much from being here," Jack said.

"It's all good fun and I'm learning something new every day. Apprenticeships are a great way to get young people into the workforce."

Work Readiness co-ordinator Frieda Gorman said students were transformed under the program.

"They become responsible, enthusiastic, young adults," she said.



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