Vellex – Trainee Profile

A transport and logistics career helps keep Cornel Ene happy at work and at home. Ene is the plant logistics supervisor for distribution company Vellex, which specialises in bulk freighting potted vegetation to retail nurseries using custom cages and pallets. Ene was promoted to supervisor when he completed a Certificate III in Warehousing Operations, a qualification developed by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council and delivered under the National Workforce Development Fund initiative. The national qualification gave Ene, who migrated to Australia eight years ago for its “weather and security”, both industry advancement and personal fulfillment. Ene had studied economics in his native Romania and worked in warehousing in sales administration. But in Sydney he worked in restaurants, rising to become an a la carte head chef, until split shifts and weekend work started to take a toll on his young family. So, two years ago he decided to “change everything,” Ene says. “I have a daughter – she’s nearly three years old – and I want to be at home Saturday, Sunday, with my daughter.” Friends recommended he consider returning to warehousing work in the transport and logistics sector. He did, and it delivered a new life through training and development. When everything is going right in the warehouse and everybody is happy – that is the best part. Ene’s mornings are dedicated to plant dispatch, while afternoons are for receiving the next day’s stock to be delivered to nurseries across New South Wales and Victoria. It’s his responsibility to ensure the Vellex drivers safely deliver the plants to the right place, at the right time, in...

McLeod Rail – Trainee Profile

Railways welder Grant Milham once worked the track and rode the rails – as a jockey. “No one believes me when I say that!” he laughs. “I rode track for about 10 years, riding the horses in the morning, getting them ready. It was something different, I enjoyed it.” He moved from one male-dominated industry to another, but it was a woman who influenced his vocation with McLeod Rail. Milham’s wife, an engineer, got a rail job in Melbourne. Milham registered with a labour hire company and got work the next day. The labour hire agent rang and said, “You can start tomorrow, I’ve got a job for you in Warrnambool” three hours away, fixing sleepers on a “tie renewal gang”, Milham says. Milham began as a track labourer, but trained as a welder under the National Workforce Development Fund, coordinated by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council. It’s the only formal training and qualification Milham has gained since high school, and he says the Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure has given him a better view of the big picture: his work, his industry and his ambition to be a supervisor with a Certificate III. He’s been working on a six-month project between Wodonga and Seymour, straightening track alongside industrial services company, Harsco. “If the rail snaps due to a defect, we weld the steel back together, creating a closure,” Milham says. The Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure has given Milham a better view of the big picture: his work, his industry and his ambition. Rail work typically means stretches of time away from home, up to 21 days...

Buslink – Trainee Profile

Over two decades Russell Houston has driven 3 million kilometres, or 50 times around Earth. He’s one of those workers every bus company wishes they had. A loyal employee of Darwin-based Buslink for 17 years, Houston, a qualified driver trainer, is the bus and coach company’s second longest serving employee. Houston moved to Darwin from Brisbane as a youth in 1983, working as a supermarket casual before moving into car detailing for a few years, which in turn led to Buslink’s wash bay, servicing a fleet of 40 buses and coaches. As Buslink grew in size, so did Houston’s aspirations. He scrubbed up and left the wash bay to get behind the wheel of the vehicles he had once cleaned. His calm temperament, excellent people manner and driving skills made him a prime candidate to train new drivers to Buslink’s uncompromising standards. “I sort of feel like I’ve moved up the ladder,” Houston says. “I’ve achieved something … I’ve worked my way up from washing buses to being a trainer.” I’ve achieved something … I’ve worked my way up from washing buses to being a trainer. Buslink used the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF) to develop Houston and a few other fellow drivers with a Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Road Transport – Heavy Vehicle Driving Instruction), a qualification developed by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC). The certificate covers driver technique and human factors. Being a good driver is important, Houston says, but being adaptable and respectful are paramount. “You have to be able to adapt your training style to the trainee. You have to cope...

Australian Airports Association – Trainee Profile

As one of Newcastle Airport’s terminal operations coordinators (TOC), Tim Zorzi is a “problem fixer”, managing its daily routine and inevitable operational flare-ups. Zorzi was promoted internally; he first drove the airport shuttle bus, carried out Work Safety Officer tasks, and screened checked baggage. “I wanted to multi-skill and learn everything… I’d volunteer to do just about anything.” His career really took off when he applied this thirst for perpetual learning to a Certificate III in Aviation (Ground Operations and Service), coordinated by the Australian Airports Association under the National Workforce Development Fund, with help from the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council. The training exposed him to valuable interaction with an industry trainer and others in the same field of work. Recently promoted to be one of three Terminal Operations Coordinators, Zorzi’s primary duties are to lead and coordinate the Duty Officers and perform all functions of the Terminal Coordination Centre. His career really took off when he applied this thirst for perpetual learning to a Certificate III in Aviation. On any day, a myriad of incidents might occur, each requiring prioritisation and action. The ability to delegate is essential. “The other day I had seven things go off at once,” Zorzi says, “so you’ve got to prioritise what you want, put everyone else on hold, and go with the priority.” The key, he says, is “situational awareness” – being aware of what is going on and anticipating certain things – and the ability to remain calm under pressure while following procedure. He highly rates logic and pragmatism as well. Aviation is in his DNA: his maternal grandfather, Flt Lt...

Laing O’Rourke – Trainee Profile

Not  that long ago, rail construction worker Corey Chulung was “unemployed, sitting at home, drinking, and smoking – a lot. It was becoming pretty much an every day routine.” Then an opportunity of a lifetime walked into his Port Hedland backyard. Laing O’Rourke indigenous relations manager Andrea White “was looking for my brother”. “When she walked through the back gate she noticed there were three of us. She went back to the car, came back with three applications and said, ‘Do you want a job?” So began Chulung’s journey, and that of his two younger brothers, Keith and Karl, on the ‘Making Tracks’ program with one of the world’s largest construction companies. Making Tracks is Laing O’Rourke’s 10-week course of work and life skills for rail project trainees, including a Certificate II in Transport and Logistics (Rail Infrastructure), a qualification developed by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council and afforded under the National Workforce Development Fund. Chulung’s West Australian crew is learning how to operate ballast tampers and regulators, stabilisers and loaders to prepare foundations for new track to increase the rail capacity between Port Hedland and mines to the north east, 30 kilometres away. Making Tracks is Laing O’Rourke’s 10-week course of work and life skills for rail project trainees, including a Certificate II in Transport and Logistics (Rail Infrastructure). “My family is over the moon about it, they’re so proud, you know,” Chulung says. “More money to contribute to the great family circle.” Family support is key to Making Tracks’ success, as well as that of an indigenous liaison officer in Port Hedland, Herbie Rose, who “motivates us...