Heraghty’s Head Start for Carpenters

Heraghty Homes in Parkes, NSW, has teamed up with the Western Institute of TAFE to create a pre-apprenticeship program for budding carpenters and future builders to help address the skills shortage.

The course has trained over 400 students with 85 per cent of graduates becoming licensed carpenters and builders.

Ted Smith is a passionate Carpentry teacher at the Western Institute and says while the course itself has been running for many years, the biggest problem is not finding projects, but finding and retaining students.

"Our biggest problem is finding people to turn up and do the training," he says.

Meet Terry Agius -- a mature age pre-apprentice who is looking to upgrade his skills base.

And Jamie Skinner -- a young pre-apprentice who aspires to one day own a construction business, like Barry Heraghty of Heraghty Homes.

"It's hands-on, I'm not just sitting down in a chair, I get to see the results. And if I do get sick of it in the future I've always got building to fall back on."

VJ Michael Park