Building bright tomorrows

GTA Awards 2019: From left to right, Kala Simpson (Trainee of the Year, Novaskill), Joel Farina (Apprentice of the Year, GBE Group), and Ben Rayfield from Rayfield Constructions, who started as an apprentice with HGT almost 24 years ago and now hosts two apprentices of his own.

GTA Awards 2019: From left to right, Kala Simpson (Trainee of the Year, Novaskill), Joel Farina (Apprentice of the Year, GBE Group), and Ben Rayfield from Rayfield Constructions, who started as an apprentice with HGT almost 24 years ago and now hosts two apprentices of his own.

As a leading Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and Group Training Organisation (GTO) approaching their 40-year anniversary, Novaskill are dedicated to assisting local people to achieve their full potential through the provision of quality training and employment services.

"Novaskill started in the Hunter Region almost 40 years ago as Hunter Group Training and we have been proudly producing a quality skilled workforce ever since," company GTO Manager, Nikola Vercoe, said.

"We have several host employers who completed their apprenticeship with us and have now come full circle to host their own apprentices."

A great example is Ben Rayfield from Rayfield Constructions, who started as an apprentice with HGT almost 24 years ago. Ben now hosts two Novaskill apprentices of his own and deeply appreciates the relationship he has built with Novaskill.

"Novaskill takes the hassle out of employing an apprentice," Ben said. "Knowing there are people monitoring and supporting my apprentices apart from my own staff is the crucial element of why I utilise the group training model."

Novaskill's success was acknowledged at this year's NSW Group Training Awards, with finalists named in the category of Small Host Employer of the Year (Rayfield Constructions), Trainee of the Year (Kala Simpson, Novaskill), and Apprentice of the Year (Joel Farina, GBE Group), along with Kerrod Binge (HL Mullane & Sons) who took out the category of Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

One of Novaskill's longest standing host employers, JA Martin Electrical, also took out the Large Host Employer of the Year award in 2017 and in 2018, and their apprentice Matthew Hayes took out Apprentice of the Year, at these same awards.

"JA Martin has hosted apprentices and trainees through Novaskill for over ten years," HR Manager at JA Martin Debbie Baillie said.

"We are happy to work with Novaskill to ensure that we can get exposure to the best and largest group of young people in order to train them up to become future tradespeople and business leaders in our community",

This year, Novaskill has also been successful in taking out the Best WHS Management System (Large Organisation) at the Hunter Safety Awards and were also finalists in the Excellence in Business category at the Hunter Business Awards.

"The model that we operate under as a GTO is that we recruit, induct and manage apprentices and trainees for host employers, either for a short period or for the duration of the apprenticeship or traineeship, in any trade or vocation," Ms Vercoe said.

"We provide the Recruitment, HR, WHS, Payroll, and ongoing mentoring functions for the apprentices or trainees, all the while leaving our host employers to do what they do best, run their business!"

In a rapidly changing labour market, an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway is an increasingly popular choice.

"Apprentices and trainees learn practical skills on the job, combined with the achievement of a nationally recognised qualification," Ms Vercoe said.

"On top of this, they often finish their trade earning more than university graduates, as well as having the potential to finish their training up to $100,000 ahead due to apprenticeship earnings vs the HECS debt of a higher education student."

If you are interested in becoming an apprentice or trainee through Novaskill or become a host employer, call (02) 49066 700 or visit www.novaskill.com.au to request an information pack.

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