Ararat A.F. Gason wins Employer Award for Apprentice Development at 2017 Victorian Training Awards

ARARAT’S A.F. Gason Pty Ltd has won the Employer Award for Apprentice Development at the Victorian Training Awards.

The result was announced just after 8pm on Wednesday.

Gason, a farm machinery and woodheater manufacturer, was up against Semken Landscaping Pty Ltd in Ringwood and WPC Group Ltd in North Melbourne for the award.

The employer section recognises businesses that are training the next generation of workers.

The Victorian Training Awards that celebrate excellence in the training system, and showcase industry collaboration.

In a video presented to the awards ceremony in Melbourne, Gason human resources manager Andrew Kemp said it was an honour just to be nominated.

“We’re out here in the country just doing what we can to ensure we have got the right skills in our business,” he said.

“To be nominated is a really nice recognition to now that we’re doing a really good job here.”

Gason submitted their ‘boot camp’ program where potential apprentices spend a week at the company being evaluated for a long-term program.

Earlier – October 5

ARARAT’S A.F. Gason Pty Ltd will battle it out with some of Melbourne’s major manufacturers in the Victorian Training Awards.

Gason, a farm machinery and woodheater manufacturer, is a finalist for the 2017 Victorian Employer Award for Apprentice Development.

Gason will be up against Semken Landscaping Pty Ltd in Ringwood and WPC Group Ltd in North Melbourne for the apprentice development award.

The employer section recognises businesses that are training the next generation of workers.

The Victorian Training Awards that celebrate excellence in the training system, and showcase industry collaboration.

Gason human resources manager Andrew Kemp said the business was nominated for its apprentice ‘boot camp’ program.

“The reason that we formulated the boot camp was that we operate in a small labour pool; it can be really hard to find qualified and competent tradespeople,” he said.

“We thought ‘we’ll make them ourselves’.

“That way we can train them with the skills that they need to be productive here at Gason.”

Gason’s boot camp evaluates about 10 apprentices over five days.

“it’s kind of like a week-long job interview,” Mr Kemp said.

“Even the people who aren’t selected learn how to weld and other skills.”

At the end of the evaluation, two to four apprentices go on to a 12-month program.

Gason managing director Terry Pye said one of the benefits of the program was to increase the number of women in what had been a male-dominated industry. 

Ararat Class A Welding and Certificate III Fabrication apprentice Jaymee Rodriguez entered the program as part of her year 12 studies.

“I needed the work and these guys seemed pretty good so I decided to join,” she said.

Training and Skills Minister and Western Victoria MP Gayle Tierney announced the finalists last week.

The awards will be presented at Crown Palladium on October 11 with winners to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.

Gason is currently accepting applications for its next boot camp. 

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