Byron Jones is a third year apprentice at Faircloth Reynolds Coffs Harbour
Byron Jones is a third year apprentice at Faircloth Reynolds Coffs Harbour Trevor Veale

WANTED: Apprentices needed for leading Coffs Coast firm

DURING the recent State and Federal elections, The Coffs Coast Advocate highlighted the Coffs Clarence's spiralling youth unemployment rates.

In one quarter in 2018/19, local youth unemployment had reached a staggering 23.3% - a number that took us to the top of a list that no one wants to be on - NSW's highest youth unemployment rate.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan in his maiden speech in Federal Parliament referenced the region's youth unemployment rates revealing that he was planning to stage a youth employment summit to analyse the issue during his first term in office.

Doling out the jobs to young workers 

Local businesses are playing their role in trying to address the issue. 

Faircloth Reynolds Coffs Harbour is currently seeking 11 apprentices with applications open across three trades; sheet metal, electrical and refrigeration/air-conditioning.

"One of the biggest assets when growing your business is getting the right people," David Reynolds said.

"We are seeking motivated young people who want to be part of our almost 300-strong team."

Faircloth and Reynolds. 04 NOV 2019
David Reynolds is passionate about providing employment opportunities and career paths for local youth. Trevor Veale

CLOCKING up 35 years next week, Faircloth Reynolds Coffs Harbour is still owned and managed by the two businessmen behind the name; Peter Faircloth and David Reynolds. 

Respected in a tough industry for quality and innovation, this business has grown to be one of the largest refrigeration, air conditioning and catering equipment companies on the east coast of Australia with an impressive list of accomplishments but it is their staff and the role they play in this success that David Reynolds is quick to praise. 

"Our staff are the core of our business, and they are one of the main reasons why Faircloth Reynolds has grown successfully over the years to become one of the rock solid players in the Australian HVAC industry," he said. 

"We have a high retention rate and a high return rate. Many of our employees have been here for 10, 15 or 20 years - since they did their apprenticemenships. Others achieved their trade qualifications with us, moved away or travelled like a lot of locals do, and when they came back to the Coffs Coast to settle down, they came back to us. 

Listening to David Reynolds you quickly realise this is a man who is passionate about his business and the opportunities it can provide to youth.  

He doesn't pay lip service to the youth unemployment numbers he has strategies in place to tackle it head on. 

 "We are building relationships with schools, local careers advisors and TAFE, we also encourage work experience and provide internships. The more a young person can make themselves job ready before they actually leave high school the better."  

Faircloth Reynolds is offering 11 apprenticeships in sheet metal, electrical and refrigeration/air conditioning. Ideal applicants would have completed Year 10 with strong results in maths, English and the design/technology/metalwork areas.   

Faircloth and Reynolds. 04 NOV 2019
Faircloth and Reynolds former apprentices Michael Gear and Andrew McIntyre went on to further studies and now work in design draughting for the company. Trevor Veale

"It's as much about attitude as school results," said Peter Richardson, business development manager at Faircloth Reynolds.   

"A lot of our apprentices will be visiting clients at their businesses or homes so they need to be well presented and spoken."  

David Reynolds said for many, an apprenticeship can be a stepping stone.  

"Many apprentices are fully qualified in their early 20s, they then move on to university and study engineering or become draughtsman. Sometimes it can be hard to explain to a 16-year-old how many opportunities an apprenticeship offers when all they want to do is get out of school.

"We provide support and guidance to any of our team who want to advance."  

To learn more about Faircloth Reynolds visit their website.   

To apply for current apprenticeships send written applications only to: Apprentice 2020 c/ Faircloth Reynolds, 12 Hurley Dr, Coffs Harbour 2450.  

All resumes should provide details of education, copies of school reports, work experience, the trade you are applying for and a handwritten cover letter stating why you are applying. Closing date: 22/11/2019.