Cairns steps up for skills training challenge

Cairns is leading the charge in growing the number of new apprentices and trainees to keep up with growing demand.

The Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman met with apprentices at Skill360 in Cairns today and congratulated them on their work to ensure more Queenslanders gain skills and training for the past 35 years.

With three weeks to go, it’s fantastic to see their goal of 50 apprenticeships almost reached with 46 new apprenticeship sign ups so far. Ms Fentiman said.

“It’s a great initiative and I am calling on all Queensland businesses to consider taking on an apprentice or a trainee, especially a young Queenslander.

“The Palaszczuk government’s free apprenticeships for under 21 initiative removes the training cost for employers across 139 qualifications in the industries where we need more skilled workers.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said that since the 1 July launch of the new free apprenticeships for under 21s initiative, the far north Queensland city has seen 77 young people under 21 years sign up for free training.

“We need more young Queenslanders to take up an apprenticeship and this project compliments the Palaszczuk Government’s free apprenticeships for under 21s initiative” Mr Healy said.

“It’s great to see that 77 young people in Cairns have taken advantage of our free apprenticeships initiative so far and that number is growing.”

Far North Queensland business owner Brett Ingram from Cairns Local Glass recently signed up Conner Loneragan as a first year apprentice through the Cairns50 campaign.

“These days you really need skills and qualifications to get through,” Mr Lonergran said. “I want to start my own business one day.”

Group Training Organisation Skill360, which recently merged with BUSY At Work, has with Government assistance supported more than 40,000 apprentices, trainees and businesses for their skills training and staffing needs.

Paul Miles, Managing Director of The BUSY Group, stated, “As we see every day, an apprenticeship or traineeship can turn a young person’s life around, while also giving local employers future skills that support their businesses into the future.

“With initiatives like the free apprenticeships for under 21s program and other available incentive funding for eligible employers, it has never been a better time to take on an apprentice or trainee.”

Mr Loneragran will join over 4,000 Cairns residents who are currently in training at TAFE or at a registered or group training organisation in the city.

“Cairns is much more than a tourism destination; when it comes to employment and training in trades we are seeing plenty of leadership from the city’s commercial sector,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Our initiatives such as free apprenticeships, free TAFE and the newly announced Skills Boost is backing locals in Cairns to get those skills and training to get a job and build a successful career.”

The Palaszczuk Government offers a range of government subsidised qualifications for all ages including the recently announced $4 million Skills Boost for those who want to update or build on their existing skills and qualifications.

For more information on training visit

List of free apprenticeships visit:

For more information on Cairns50 – 50 Apprenticeships in 50 days


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