“I’m a strong believer in apprenticeships. I think apprentices are our future. Even in small business, I’d encourage people to consider an apprentice, to keep training the next generation.”– Phil Gardner, Workshop Supervisor, Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Services
Phil Gardner spent three-and-a-half years with the fire service during his apprenticeship, and has been there ever since.
Now the Workshop Supervisor for the Department of Police Fire and Emergency Management (DPFEM), Phil has developed a relationship with Work & Training that has lasted for over 30 years.
“I did my apprenticeship with what was then the North-Western Group Training around 30 years ago” he says.
“Group Training – now Work & Training – supplies our apprentices. We’ve had apprentices through nearly every four years since I finished my apprenticeship, so we’ve had a lot of them come through the door.”
Phil is directly responsible for overseeing the maintenance of around 300 vehicles, including fire trucks, police vehicles, SES vehicles, and fire appliances for Sustainable Timber Tasmania vehicles.
“Because we’re a government agency, we’re not looking to grow a business – our business is to maintain all those vehicles. Apprentices are an essential part of that, so it’s my preference that they get trained all the time. We need apprentices to keep our workforce flowing.”
Work & Training provide Phil and the DPFEM with much-needed assistance in recruiting and supporting new apprentices, enabling the organisation to focus on vehicle management and ensuring apprentices have access to assistance if required.
Phil feels that by employing apprentices, organisations like the DPFEM are helping to support the broader Tasmanian community by creating sustainable paths to employment.
“It saves all the HR and recruitment services that we don’t need to provide because Work & Training do that for us – it just takes all the hard work out of it” he explains.
“We can support apprentices so much, to train them to do their job. But the off-job training that they need to do, or if they’re having difficulties and need support – that’s what Work & Training have been able to provide. We have a young guy who did need some extra support and we’ve just got his last TAFE result back – he’s turned 180 degrees. We wouldn’t have been able to do that without Work & Training.”
Phil Gardner – Workshop Supervisor, Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Services
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