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15 September 2016

Did You Know - Early Settlers

Did you know many settlers who sailed to the Swan River Colony brought with them items they thought would be useful for building including glass, doors, pre-cut timber and a few pre-fabricated houses!

Image courtesy of the State Library of WA - 024704PD

13 September 2016

CBC Fremantle Try-A-Trade



Last week a group of students from CBC Fremantle took part in a Try-A-Trade funded by the Construction Training Fund.

Try-A-Trade's give students a hands on experience of the construction industry to help them make an informed choice on future career pathways. The Construction Training Fund partners with Registered Training Organisations (RTO's) that provide construction trade training to apprentices to deliver the Try-A-Trade program.

This Try-A-Trade was facilitated by Evolution Academy. The students had a chance to try Tiling, Bricklaying and Plastering and were presented with certificates at the end.

12 September 2016

Career Corner - Sharlene, Painter and Decorator


We first met Sharlene Kidd a couple of years ago when she had just returned from competing in World Skills over in Brazil. We wanted to find out what she was up to now she has qualified as a painter and decorator and what have been the highlights of her career so far.

Tell us about your current role as a Trainer and Try-A-Trade Lecturer with MPA Skills:

I currently work part time conducting Try-A-Trades (which are fully funded by the Construction Training Fund) for school students, including mixed groups and all female groups of between 12 and 18 students. This means I show them the basics of painting and decorating so they get a feel of what the job involves. It's a great tool to enable the students to get a hands on experience of a number of trades and this will help them make an informed decision regarding career choices and hopefully they will think about going into painting and decorating.

Some of the things I show the students are wood graining, rag rolling, stencilling and cutting in - some of the day to day jobs a painter carries out.

I'm also just starting off my own business which is a really exciting step, eventually I hope to employ other tradies and apprentices so I can pass on my knowledge.

How did you get into your current position?

I completed a pre apprenticeship and then my apprenticeship in painting and decorating with MPA Skills. I also went through them for all of my preparation for the competitions I have been inovolved in.

Once I qualified they had an opportunity arise to teach Try-A-Trades to school students which I jumped at and absolutely love!

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

There have been so many highlights since starting my apprenticeship in 2011! I won Apprentice of the Year in 2014, I was a gold medallist in the 2014 World Skills national competition, I came 11th in the World Skills international competition for which I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Sao Paulo in Brazil, and I recently won the 2016 Ern MacDonald Fellowship which was a $6000 scholarship to implement my project plan of having the biggest and best all female painting company, support for females starting off in the industry and to pass on my skills. It was the first year that two people won, which was myself and a carpenter.

Where would you like to see you career in 5 years?

In 5 years time I would like to be a full time trainer at MPA Skills and run a business at the same time. My goals would be to have supervisors looking after my business on site whilst I'm conducting training.

What do you like about being involved in the WA construction industry?

I love being involved in the WA construction industry because I love meeting new people. I also get to go to different places and create something from a blank canvas.

Finally, what are your hobbies outside of work?

I enjoy being outdoors; I walk my dog at the park and play footy with my boyfriend. I also really like to spend time doing artwork and painting - I know it sounds crazy to paint for work and as a hobby but I just love it!!