THERE has been some positive job news in Port Augusta recently.
Downer, a transport company, has employed three new staff members who have combined their employment with TAFE studies.
Two plant mechanics and an electrician were hired, which brought the number of apprentices at the Port Augusta Depot to nine.
The successful candidates, Nicholas Gaston, Martin Lees and Benjamin Hams won their positions over 100 job applicants after a rigorous interview process.
The men started their positions in March and said they were happy to have received such an opportunity.
“I appreciate the opportunity to do my apprenticeship with Downer Rail and being able to work in the local community,” Mr Gaston said.
“After finishing an electrical pre-vocational course it took a further nine months of constant job applications throughout the state before being taken on by Downer,” Mr Lee said.
“It is great to see companies like Downer investing in and training up tradespeople for the future”.
Port Augusta Depot manager Trevor Stroyan said he appreciated the chance to provide an opportunity for locals in Port Augusta having once been an apprentice himself.
“Apprenticeship intakes within the region as a whole have been declining due to many factors,” Mr Stroyan said.
“This makes Downer’s contribution even more valuable as we support employment in the region.
“The success of Downer’s apprenticeship program resulted in us being able to offer permanent employment to a fourth year Boilermaker apprentice at the completion of his apprenticeship recently.”
Downer said they pride themselves on providing effective coaching programs for staff members and supporting local communities.