Two political opponents are joining forces to have more apprentices employed by Council.

Greens Councillor Kristyn Glanville (main image) is moving a notice of motion at next Tuesday’s council meeting (28 June) for Council to employ more trades apprentices. Her motion has the support of Liberal Councillor Stuart Sprott, who has previously moved a similar motion.

Curl Curl ward Cr Glanville is calling for Northern Beaches Council to report on ways Council can support the employment of young people in apprenticeships and traineeships. Her plan also calls for employment of apprentices and trainees to be a factor considered in the awarding of council tenders.

Kristyn Glanville

Kristyn Glanville

“To me, the story starts with my dad, who is a ‘tradie’. He got his first job when he was 16 at what would now be called a state-owned corporation, the gasworks. He did his apprenticeship there and has gone on to own his own plumbing business.

“I know other young people who’ve done that in other council areas where they did an apprenticeship as in landscape gardening, and then have gone on to create their own businesses. I think it’s something that everyone in the community wants to see, young people having the opportunity to have an apprenticeship.

“We have a national skills shortage in a number of trades and we want to be able to find local people with those skills to work on our houses, our gardens and public spaces. There’s only positive things about Council creating these opportunities, preferably employing its own apprentices, but then also looking at its contractual arrangements.

“We have contractors who do work for Council. Can we put KPIs around them having apprentices? If we’re tendering out work, ask them how many apprentices they have and take that into consideration when we’re picking which tender wins a project.

“I’d like to see bipartisanship on this. I discovered that other Councillors, including Stuart Sprott, were also really enthusiastic about this issue. It shouldn’t be about party lines, whatever your political attitudes I think we should recognise that we need young people to pursue trade careers, because we need people with those trade skills to exist in our local community. Working together to get to that aim is more important than any particular side winning,” said Cr Glanville.

Northern Beaches Councillor Stuart Sprott

Normally expected to be at loggerheads as The Greens and Liberal Councillors, Cr Glanville and Cr Sprott are co-sponsoring the motion. Frenchs Forest ward Cr Sprott (image above) says he has tried to engage Council on this issue before but the idea has not previously gained traction.

Stuart Sprott

Stuart Sprott

“I’ve raised this at Council through briefings and Cr Glanville agreed with the idea. I said, ‘I’ve tried twice and just get shut down because I’m a Liberal’, so I told her I would support the motion if she put it forward.

“Some Councillors hold the view that apprenticeships are irrelevant in this organisation. How can they say that? We have a moral obligation to teach our young. Look what has happened in Australia when we’ve got no manufacturing. We found out in COVID, we found ourselves in trouble.

“We need to be able to train our youth and give them jobs. Just because they’re apprenticeships and they’re not scholarships or university degrees doesn’t mean that they’re not important in the community,” said Cr Sprott.

Cr Glanville’s motion will be debated at the upcoming meeting of Northern Beaches Council on Tuesday, 28 June. Council meetings can be watched live or on demand at Council’s website.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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