Challenge Employment trainer Shannon Donaldson with participants Michael Spelleken and Grady Wingfield.
Challenge Employment trainer Shannon Donaldson with participants Michael Spelleken and Grady Wingfield.

How jobseekers are rising to the challenge to update skills

JOBSEEKERS looking to update their skills and qualifications to land a trade are benefiting from a new program lead by Challenge Employment in Collingwood Park.

Up to 16 young people have enrolled to complete a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways, which is funded by the Queensland Government under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

The 13 week course includes hands-on training to prepare the jobseekers for a career in mechanics, fabrication or welding, as well as work readiness training and personalised learning support.

Before coming to Challenge Employment, Michael Spelleken from Laidley was doing Work for the Dole. Now, the 22-year-old is hoping to become a full-time boilermaker in the future.

"I've always been interested in this field of work since I was a child," he said.

"As soon as I was told about it (the course) I called and signed up straight away.

"I've enjoyed learning about the importance of accuracy and the precision skills that are needed in this industry. I really enjoy welding and using the lathe machine."

Ipswich resident Grady Wingfield is hoping Challenge Employment can help him find a job working with cars, which is one of his passions.

"I was looking for work but just couldn't find anything," the 20-year-old said.

"I've really enjoyed learning hands-on skills. I feel motivated.

"I would love to be an automotive engineer, making parts for cars."

Trainer Shannon Donaldson has been overseeing the jobseekers and teaching them the skills they will need for a long career in their chosen field. He finds his role of shaping the next generation very rewarding.

"It's a privilege to be in the position to help young people develop their skills - I love the work," he said.

"This is a group of devoted, reliable and hardworking young people."

With more people out of work due to COVID-19, project co-ordinator Donna Isaacs said anyone can apply as long as they are eligible for funding.

"The success of our students is our priority at Challenge, we provide personalised learning and wrap around support after graduation," she said.

Challenge Employment and Training will also have upcoming courses in warehousing and aged care in the Ipswich region shortly.

Anyone interested in learning more can phone 3282 8000 or log onto