Work experience program for students who love the outdoors

Parks and Gardens team pruning trees in the nursery

A hands-on work experience program is cultivating bright career opportunities for Sunshine Coast high school students.

A five-day work experience program is open to students in Years 10, 11 and 12 looking to obtain on-the job skills and experience with the Sunshine Coast Council Parks and Gardens Branch across six fields.

Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Tim Burns said the unique program would provide students the opportunity to experience basic technical skills within their chosen field while gaining insight into the various parks and gardens-related careers.

“The work experience program provides young people an opportunity to explore potential careers and connect with the community and council,” Cr Burns said.

“If you’re drawn to the outdoors and have a passion for tree care, why not explore work experience in arboriculture.

“Keen to branch out? Nursery operations or horticulture could be the place for you.”

Students can also learn more about behind-the-scenes activities to run a branch through the field of administration.

What opportunities are available?

The program allows students to gain practical experience in a parks and gardens operational environment within key career fields, including:

  1. horticulture
  2. arboriculture
  3. turf and irrigation
  4. nursery operations
  5. infrastructure maintenance
  6. administration

As well as developing transferable skills, such as technical, communication, teamwork and an understanding how the Parks and Gardens Branch operates, students receive a certificate of completion at the end of the five-day program.

Parks and Gardens Manager Nicholas Coluccio said the program offered students a fantastic opportunity to be mentored by the experienced Parks team while growing a new career path.

“Students are encouraged to join the program and come behind-the-scenes to see what it takes to keep our parks and gardens well-presented and safe for our community,” Mr Coluccio said.

Be part of a team improving our region

“Participants will be given an opportunity to learn about the technical aspects of parks and gardens, and how the team plays an important role in keeping our parks beautiful for generations to come.

“Council values mentoring and developing confidence for participants in the work experience program as well as providing a supportive environment for high school students to make informed decisions about their future.”

Declan recently conducted work experience with the Parks Infrastructure Maintenance team and gained first-hand experience in park and playground maintenance and assist plumbing.

Parks Infrastructure Services Delivery Leader Andrew Vondeling said Declan had a hard-working attitude and was eager to learn.

“Declan was a great team player and enjoyed his time with our team so much he came back for more experience late last year,” Mr Vondeling said.

For more information check out the Work Experience video on council’s YouTube site, or visit the careers page on council’s website.

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