20 March 2024

Dedication drives apprenticeship outcome for Pormpuraaw man

| Lyndon Keane
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Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council apprentice carpenter Cody Henaway celebrates his workforce win with RISE Ventures Community Project Coordinator Stephen Ambrum. Photo: Supplied.

If the level of commitment and persistence shown to just secure an apprenticeship is any indication, Pormpuraaw’s Cody Henaway is set for a bright future on the tools.

After completing year 12 in 2022, the self-driven Mr Henaway returned to the western Cape York community seeking work, having already gained a Certificate I in Construction and Certificate II in Engineering Pathways while at school.

While working as a casual labourer and station hand, he said he decided to focus on finding something more consistent that would allow him to build on his existing skillset, qualifications and interest.

He joined RISE Ventures as a client in February 2023 and, within a month, had been hired as a labourer under the Trialling Pathways for Real Jobs (TPRJ) program in the organisation’s community projects team.

The TPRJ program is a Federal Government initiative aimed at providing First Nations participants with “real jobs, proper wages and decent conditions”.

As his time with RISE Ventures progressed, Mr Henaway discovered a natural flair for carpentry while working as an offsider with local workshop supervisor and trade-qualified carpenter Darren Tarpencha.

READ ALSO Pormpuraaw youth RISE to challenge with new carpentry skills

After six months, Mr Henaway decided to approach Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council and ask for a carpentry apprenticeship, which would allow him to complete a trade qualification while living locally and giving back to his community.

The council did not have an apprenticeship available at the time, but persistence paid off and in January this year, four months after he made his first inquiries, he was offered a full-time apprenticeship.

He said the support provided by RISE Ventures had given him the confidence required to take the major step of reaching out to the council.

“I’m really happy that RISE gave me a chance to join the TPRJ program,” he said.

“Working with Darren and the boys at the workshop was good; they showed me how to use tools and which ones to use for different things.

“I have now been accepted by the Pormpuraaw council as an apprentice carpenter.”

Council chief executive officer Edward Natera praised Mr Henaway’s commitment and ambition, and said he would play a role in creating a local, trade-qualified workforce, a situation most remote Cape York and Torres Strait local governments struggled with.

“Cody appears to be a more committed person and will be mentored by his direct supervisor and the building team leader,” Mr Natera explained.

“He listens and attends work each day, and will also be involved in our upcoming 10 social homes new building project.”

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