Ten-year partnership with an infinite regional focus
TAFE Queensland and NRG Services join forces to bridge the skills gap in regional Queensland
- TAFE Queensland trains NRG Services' apprentices via block training
- Qualifications delivered to NRG Services staff over the last nine years have included the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811), Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (UEE32211), solar-focused courses, through to project management qualifications
- The partnership is currently focused on addressing the significant regional skills gaps (and thus staff shortages) with a Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22011) in schools initiative
Since 2012 NRG Services has been providing extensive trade services and facilities maintenance solutions to the construction, government, civil, mining and energy industries. Located in Toowoomba with offices in Brisbane and Roma their span is wide, their knowledge is modern and comprehensive, and their approach is fully flexible.
NRG Services has been using TAFE Queensland to train its apprentices via block training for ten years. Through open communication with TAFE Queensland’s business development team, it was noted that finding regional-based, site-ready qualified staff for various roles was incredibly challenging.
A workforce development strategy has been put together by way of a senior school feeder qualification — the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22011).
Ten students from Toowoomba Grammar School and St Mary’s College are undertaking the TAFE Queensland and NRG partnership program. These students will graduate with formal industry skills and the personal skills required to embark on their careers with NRG Services. Most essentially, they will have the mandatory site experience expected of all NRG Services employees.
The current and continuing structured apprentice training TAFE Queensland provides gives NRG Services a skilled workforce. High job satisfaction, retention and client service have been observed and welcomed.
The workforce development program began in February 2022, with Toowoomba Grammar School and St Mary’s students confirmed as the first cohorts. Program benefits to the students include:
- A formal qualification - Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22011)
- Enterprise and non-technical skills such as networking, relationship-building, communication and digital literacy
- Awareness of their strengths and opportunities for development
- Opportunity to add relevant work experience with NRG Services to their resume, along with written feedback confirming their existing skills and experience on the worksite, to be used as a reference
“Our plan is to continue to partner with TAFE Queensland and, using open communication, partner for initiatives to bridge the skills gaps in our region,” said Tim O’Neill, Operations Manager, NRG Services.
“We will continue to rely on TAFE Queensland to:
- determine what information or training our employees require to be effective in their roles
- evaluate what skills employees have and which gaps need to be addressed
- help by identifying possible funding sources
- develop workforce development initiatives such as the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22011) to help narrow the skills gap and future-proof our workforce.”
NRG Services air conditioning and refrigeration apprentice, Lachlan Debel, is enjoying a cool career opportunity after completing the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) (UEE22020) TAFE at School course during his senior studies.
On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, Toowoomba business NRG Services donated two mobile cold rooms valued at $17,000, each proudly built by St Mary’s College and Toowoomba Grammar School students under close supervision of NRG tradespeople as part of a newly developed school-based training program with TAFE Queensland.