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New South Wales may be in the midst of a building boom, but it is also struggling with a shortage of tradesmen and women.

Youth unemployment is currently running at about 17 per cent, while a recent Productivity Commission highlighted the fact that about 50 per cent of second-year apprentices drop out.

One former construction company owner has decided to train and fund a new workforce while helping young people to get off welfare.

Founder Paul Breen launched Productivity Bootcamp and designed the course in partnership with 2realise—a youth charity established at Rouse Hill—after witnessing the shortage of skilled workers in the labour force firsthand.

The course has two main focuses: properly training workers with the skills required to work across the industry and developing soft skills young people require to be valuable employees through group mentoring, training and workshops.

This is done over an eight-week intensive training course, with four days on a simulated construction site in Mount Druitt in Sydney’s north-west, learning skills such as formwork, steel, concrete and general groundworks, and one day a week in 2realise’s offices in Rouse Hill developing skills required to be successful when joining the workforce, such as writing resumes, how to manage time and obtaining drivers and builders licences. Importantly, these skills culminate in giving trainees a sense of importance, confidence and an appreciation of working in a team.

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