J and EM Kiss General and Precision Engineering in Condobolin has been recognised as an industry leader in employing and supporting apprentices.

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo, Skillset Manager – Workplace Programs Ben Ruddy and Skillset Senior Business Consultant Rodney Ney travelled to Condobolin to make a special presentation to the local business on Wednesday, 23 September.

The highly regarded business was awarded Skillset’s 2020 SME Host of the Year and apprentice Damien Hocking was announced as a finalist in the 2020 Gordon Hawkes Apprentice of the Year competition.

“This achievement is not just my achievement. It is everyone who works at J and EM Kiss General and Precision Engineering’s achievement as well,” Mr Kiss said.
“I thank Skillset for this award.”

Normally, Skillset hosts a major awards ceremony in the Flannery Centre in Bathurst, however, COVID-19 restrictions have meant the company has had to change the way they bestow honours.
“However we still wanted to recognise our high achievers from all around the region,” Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo explained.

“J and EM Kiss General and Precision Engineering is one of those high achievers we wanted to recognise with a special award in 2020.

“So we decided rather than say we can’t travel to businesses such as J and EM Kiss General and Precision Engineering, we would take the opportunity to come to them and present the award.
“Skillset wanted to bring the award ceremony out to the businesses, and that’s what we have been doing over the last little while.

“We are presenting J and EM Kiss General and Precision Engineering with the Skillset’s 2020 SME (Small to Medium) Host of the Year Award. I want to say congratulations to Joe and all the team.”
J and EM Kiss General and Precision Engineering currently host two apprentices with Skillset and are looking to host another in 2021.

“Your business is a really important part of the local community,” Mr Randazzo stated.

“You accommodate school visits and work experience students.

“You provide really, really good training and there are no issues with apprentices travelling to Orange for the offsite training at TAFE. This is a really important commitment that you are making to these young people.

“You are a very proactive business, and you understand the importance of skills development for young people in regional communities.

“I have to also mention Damien Hocking, who is a finalist in the 2020 Gordon Hawkes Apprentice of the Year. This is a great honour.”

Mr Kiss prides himself on providing a positive workplace for his employees.

“I enjoy working with young people. I have really enjoyed it.

“Damien was my first apprentice I put on. He busted his leg three months after joining the team. He was then off for two months, but we kept his job going. He was put on light duties and slowly he returned to full time work.

“Zane Rodgers came to us through work experience. He wanted to do wood working but after a week with me he changed his mind and he became the second apprentice we took on.

“Mick Colley completed a Work Experience placement recently.

“I have been blessed with patience, which is vital in the workplace. You have to be patient with these guys. If things go wrong, you bite your tongue, don’t say anything silly, and just say fix it. Don’t yell and then we both don’t feel bad about what has happened. That way we can all move forward from the mistake.” Mr Randazzo added businesses like J and EM Kiss General and Precision Engineering were making a difference in their local communities by supporting young people.

“This commitment to young people in a regional work setting is just so important. To be able to grow the skills, particularly trade skills locally, it keeps young people local,” he said.

“It adds to the health of the economy of that town. You are actually building the future of your own local community by passing that knowledge and trade on.

“And by doing it in a sensitive way, so young people learn. They will make mistakes and errors as we all do, but if you can have that really good learning environment where they feel comfortable to have a go. That is so important.

“Skillset is very proud to recognise the role that you are playing in the future of your local community.”

By Melissa Blewitt.

Last Updated: 08/10/2020By

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