Corporate services manager for Apprenticeships Queensland, Matthew Costello, settles into new premises at 292 Brisbane Road, West Ipswich.
Corporate services manager for Apprenticeships Queensland, Matthew Costello, settles into new premises at 292 Brisbane Road, West Ipswich. Rob Williams

Blue-collar credentials get the tick

SPACIOUS new premises at West Ipswich are a $2 million investment in the long-term future for Apprenticeships Queensland.

After outgrowing previous offices on Brisbane St, the 26-year-old organisation looked around for a suitable site to accommodate its operations.

It found an ideal place for expansion just down the road at 292 Brisbane St.

Marketing officer Anita Dwyer said about 300 apprentices were on the books.

"We're doing a lot of interviewing of potential applicants. We're happy to talk to any school leavers," she said.

"We're hoping we'll see some real growth in the middle of the year. We're very well positioned for that growth."

"We're hoping we'll see some real growth in the middle of the year. We're very well positioned for that growth."

Mrs Dwyer said the new training rooms would be a big asset for Apprenticeships Queensland.

"We've been upskilling some of our host employers and looking at the holistic model of training," she said.

"The industry is much more complex than it was, so our staff numbers were increasing.

"This new building is a great breath of fresh air for us."

Figures from the 2011 census confirm that Ipswich is still a "blue-collar" city.

The city has a higher number of tradespeople, labourers and machine operators than the Queensland or Australian averages.

Mrs Dwyer agreed with that finding.

"We've always been a blue-collar town, there's no surprise there," she said.

"We've seen a big rise in engineering trades as well as construction."

An official opening of Apprenticeships Queensland's new West Ipswich building is planned for March 14.

The building is located behind hardware supplier Blackwoods.



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