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24th June 2024

• Job seekers in Nambour are gaining skills to join the local workforce - completing a Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem and Management as part of the Miles Government’s flagship skills and training initiative – Skilling Queenslanders for Work.
• The four trainees are part of the 2023-24 First Start program.
• ECOllaboration was awarded $80,000 under the First Start program in 2023-24 to employ four disadvantaged job seekers.

The four Conservation and Ecosystem Management trainees are working one day a month at ECOllaboration’s partner nursery Mooloolah River Landcare, and for their field days they work on the Seqwater source water supply improvement project, called the South Maroochy Rivercare program.

The program is a partnership between ECOllaboration, Seqwater and local landholders to deliver environmental and agricultural projects within the South Maroochy sub-catchment, to ensure the continued provision of safe drinking water to Nambour and surrounding areas.

Across skills areas, the trainees have gained invaluable skills and confidence – setting them on a path to secure meaningful employment.

Round 2 of Skilling Queenslanders for Work 2023-24 is supporting 224 projects statewide with more than 2,800 participants on the Sunshine Coast have been supported by SQW to-date.

Quotes attributable to Rob Skelton MP, Member for Nicklin:
“Here in Nambour, Skilling Queenslanders for Work trainees are well on their way to joining the Sunshine Coast workforce – set to grow to almost 204,000 by 2025-26.

“Thanks to SQW, unemployed and underemployed people on the Sunshine Coast are getting the skills they need – with extra, wrap-around support they need to graduate and find meaningful, ongoing employment.

“I want to congratulate this latest cohort of graduates and I wish the very best of luck to all the current trainees, following in their footsteps.”

“This investment has helped more than 4,700 Skilling Queenslanders for Work participants in the Sunshine Coast, with 2,872 securing jobs since 2015.

"It is exciting to see the results of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work projects, benefitting not only the community but also each individual who upskilled along the way.”

Quotes attributable to ECOllaboration’s Training and Development Project Manager Alexandra Hayes-Hatten:
“Our traineeships have opened doors and changes lives. Having started my career as a trainee, our programs understand the needs of the participants.

“Our crew graduating tomorrow has had 100% completion and 10 out of 11 trainees have gained further employment and five of those are further studying.

“Our programs wouldn’t be so successful without the support from the other local Landcare groups like Noosa, Barung and Mooloolah and our other partners Queensland Parks and Wildlife and SEQ Water.”

Quotes attributable to program trainee Jonathan Schulze Conservation and Ecosystem Management:
“The program provided me and many of my colleagues a chance to engage in a sector of work that can otherwise be difficult to get a foot into.

“Since joining the project, I have developed many skills as a person and even more as an environmental worker.

“I am now more than halfway through my Certificate III with connections for future employment in a wide range of areas and companies.

“I now love what I do for work and I know the planet loves it too.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Development Lance McCallum:
“The Miles Labor Government is proud to back Alex and the ECOllaboration team to get Queenslanders into good jobs through our very successful program that lets participants earn while they learn.

“Low unemployment isn't an accident–it's happening because of deliberate decisions by the new Miles Labor Government, like funding Skilling Queenslanders for Work properly at $80 million a year.

“This is a program that was cut by the LNP when they were last in government and it's a program that is now at risk under a David Crisafulli LNP government.

“We know this because they did it last time, and we know this because they have billions of dollars in a budget black hole that can only be filled through cuts.”

“They need to come clean with Queenslanders who deserve to know exactly what their plans are for cuts to programs like Skilling Queenslanders for Work, Free TAFE, and Free Apprenticeships.”

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