CEO Jon Gibbons, graduate Seamus Fortune and Senior Workshop Supervisor Vili Masibilio

The First Start program, which is part of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, provides job seekers with opportunities to gain nationally recognised qualifications and paid employment through subsidised traineeships and apprenticeships with local councils and community-based organisations. 

Council CEO Jon Gibbons said that the First Start program is mutually beneficial for participants and Council. 

CEO Jon Gibbons with graduate Ellie Barnes
CEO Jon Gibbons with graduate Ellie Barnes

“Council is committed to providing meaningful on-the-job experience and career development opportunities to trainees and apprentices, who might typically face barriers to, or challenges in, participating in the labour market,” he said.  

“Council is meeting the program’s objective of addressing skill shortages in regional areas while assisting young people to live and work in the local area by providing employment opportunities they would otherwise have to travel to find”. 

Council has been participating in the First Start employment initiative for over ten years and has seen many trainees and apprentices retained as long-term employees. 

“We are so proud to present our graduates with their well-earned certificates of appreciation from Council and to have played an important part in their current and future career successes.”     

The seven graduating participants worked within various Council teams including Libraries, Parks and Gardens, Rates and Payroll, People and Strategy and Asset and Environmental Sustainability, and earned qualifications in Civil Construction, Business, Horticulture, Engineering and Library and Information Services.   

Council’s commitment to supporting trainees and apprentices was acknowledged by the Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, who shortlisted Scenic Rim Regional Council in the category of Large Employer of the Year in the 2021 Queensland Training Awards. Council is also nominated in the 2022 Queensland Training Awards in the Large Employer of the Year category, and Council apprentice Seamus Fortune has been shortlisted for the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year award.  

Recruitment for the 2023 trainee and apprentice cohort will commence later this year.   To find out more, view the Careers page on Council’s website.