GFG Foundation students sign up to apprenticeships

Our people, Uncategorized > 1st July, 2024

Programme leads to full time roles at Whyalla

The GFG Foundation is celebrating a significant milestone with three former students progressing to apprenticeships at LIBERTY Primary Metals Australia (LPMA) operations.

Declan Trinidad and Caleb Fisher have secured apprenticeships at the Whyalla Steelworks with LIBERTY Primary Steel while former Tahmoor GFG Foundation student Bailey Jones is now a mechanical fitter apprentice at the SIMEC Mining Tahmoor coal coking operation in New South Wales.

As a participant in the GFG Foundation’s first pilot program in Whyalla, and Australia, Declan’s success in gaining a mechanical engineering apprenticeship was an especially significant moment for the development program.

The GFG Foundation isn’t just about recruiting young people into the business but It is certainly a fantastic feeling to have former students now joining our businesses having gone through the programme

– GFG Foundation Chief Operating Officer, Jonny Samengo

Like all three new apprentices, Declan found out about the GFG Foundation through his school, Samaritan College, in Whyalla and had no hesitation signing up.

“The program was fun, it opened my eyes to the opportunities at the steelworks and was a real foot in the door,” Declan said. “I was originally interested in an electrical apprenticeship but then seeing the machinery and the pits up close in the steelworks left an impression and made me realise a mechanical trade was also a real possibility.

“The GFG Foundation gave me that insight and more confidence when it came time for the apprentice interviews … it definitely helped get me where I am now.”

Fellow Samaritan College student, Caleb was already aware of the programme when it was presented at school and jumped at the opportunity.

“A mate of mine did the Foundation programme the year before and thought it was really good, so I was keen to be involved too,” Caleb said. 

“I always thought that I’d like to work at the steelworks, so the Foundation was a great help.

“Meeting people (the mentors) who actually worked here and had progressed from apprentices to now being team leaders definitely made a difference.

“Hearing their stories made it very real for me and made me realise the Foundation was a great stepping stone towards a career here in Whyalla.”

GFG Foundation Chief Operating Officer, Jonny Samengo congratulated the three new apprentices and those that had mentored them during their time in the programme. He said it was a momentous moment for the GFG Foundation to be employing its first former students and a very proud milestone in the Foundation’s short history in Australia.

“The GFG Foundation isn’t just about recruiting young people into the business but It is certainly a fantastic feeling to have former students now joining our businesses having gone through the programme,” Jonny said. “It speaks volumes about the GFG Foundation which aims to provide life skills and personal development for young people in the regions that we have operations in.

“The fact that we now have these young people joining our organisation is a bonus and we know they will go well, based on the solid grounding and experiences they got with the GFG Foundation.”

The GFG Foundation focuses on programmes to support people, particularly young people, to reach their potential and strengthen industries and local communities by boosting skills and employment prospects. 

The GFG Foundation gave me that insight and more confidence when it came time for the apprentice interviews … it definitely helped get me where I am now

Mechanical Engineering Apprentice Declan Trinidad

The GFG Foundation now has Year 7-8 and Year 9-10 programs at LIBERTY Bell Bay in Tasmania and with LIBERTY Primary Steel and SIMEC Mining in Whyalla. There is a Year 9-10 programme at Tahmoor Coking Coal in New South Wales with a Year 7-8 programme starting next year.

Main image and above: Declan Trinidad and Caleb Fisher at the Whyalla Steelworks.

Read more about the GFG Foundation

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