TAFE SA has launched a series of training initiatives aimed at helping residents on Kangaroo Island upskill and find employment.
Courses this week saw workers getting forklift and telehandling certificates, including at the KI Council depot where a brand new 7-tonne telehandler was made available by local company KI Hire & Scaffolding.
Company owners Sharon and Luke Kauppila, as well as employees Steve Stuart and Bruce Buck, took the opportunity to get various attachment tickets for their telehandler.
They were among about 30 locals, aged 20 to 83, who received tickets and TAFE SA instructor Geoff Salvestro will be back later this year to give more heavy machinery courses.
Meanwhile at the Aurora Ozone Hotel, a group of future aged care and disability workers continued their education.
A Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability) is being offered on Kangaroo Island for the first time in several years to meet local demand for aged and disability care workers.
The six-month course started in mid-June with 14 participants who are looking to build on existing skills to gain paid employment in the sector.
TAFE SA Regional Manager Tim Hutchinson said the training has resulted from strong collaboration with the DIS-funded employment project, job-active provider Workskil Australia, the Junction Australia Community Centre and agencies that provide disability and aged care services on the Island.
"The course is offering participants the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that could lead to sustainable, ongoing employment in an industry sector crying out for skilled workers," he said.
"The participants include a former ambulance worker, a volunteer aged care worker that wants to gain paid work, and a number of locals who are carers at home and want to become fully qualified."
The course is being delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face training sessions as well as work placements, which will start later in the year.
Students can join in virtual classroom discussions from home or meet in small groups at the Junction Australia Community Centre to participate.
Mr Hutchinson said the Certificate III in Individual Support was part of a series of training programs that TAFE SA was offering to help support the Kangaroo Island community affected by the December/January bushfires and COVID-19 shutdown.
"The impact on the local economy has been severe and people are needing to re-skill to find jobs," he said.
The short courses in forklift operation, telehandler operation and Prepare to Drive held recently relied on assistance from local business and the council.
"We've had great community support to get these short courses off the ground," Mr Hutchinson said.
"Mitre 10 and KI Hire & Scaffolding have supported us with infrastructure and venues for practical delivery, we cannot thank these local companies enough; they are doing great work themselves to support the Island with its recovery.
"The Ozone Hotel has been an excellent venue for theory training and really accommodating with large numbers across classes in all courses. We've also had fantastic contributions from Kangaroo Island Council and full classes of participants."
Further training opportunities are being planned, including skid steer operations, firearms licence training, hospitality short courses and first aid.
For more information, please contact TAFE SA regional manager Tim Hutchinson on 0477 740 558.