Scot MacDonald
14th Aug 2017

Wyong-based teenager Kayla Chapel says she was “on the wrong track” until she started a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course in construction which helped her rebuild her life.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Scott Macdonald MLC said a tough upbringing had left the Indigenous 19-year-old struggling to finish school, experimenting with drugs and wrestling with depression.

“Kayla has turned her life around after embarking on a Cert II course in construction with support from Smart and Skilled, the NSW Government’s training framework which helps people get the skills they need to find a job,” Mr Macdonald said.

“The course is tailor-made for students who need a bit more support and is a partnership between the NSW Government, training provider Construction Trade Qualifications (CTQ), and employment service provider Castle Personnel.

“Kayla was among the first group of 14 students to graduate from the course last May and has since been offered ongoing training and work with CTQ as a Teacher’s Assistant Educator - this is a fantastic outcome.

“The course gave Kayla experience in a number of construction areas including residential construction, pool building and installation, window construction and installation, joinery and scaffolding, NBN installation, and trainer’s aide work.

“Students were given individual education pathways and tutoring, taught techniques for stress management, confidence building and employee skills; and even help with nutrition and travel tips.

“In fact, more than 70 per cent of the students have been given job opportunities after undertaking work experience with local and Sydney-based businesses,” Mr Macdonald said.”

Drawing on the experiences of her past, Kayla found herself taking a leadership role among her training group to help them overcome their “fears and self-doubt”.

“I wasn’t meant to take over the leadership role but the other students came to me for advice so I took them under my wing. CTQ said I was an asset to the company,” she said.

“It was the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s the only course I’ve ever stayed in until the end and I got so much knowledge and picked up so many skills.” 

Scot MacDonald | 0408 450 032