Intermediate VCAL students had a taste of the workplace today from two local work placement providers. Managing Director of KBD Constructions, Bernie Donegan, and Bunnings Operations Managers Ben Fasoli and Anthony Thomas gave helpful advice to students in preparation for their first foray into the world of work placement.

Mr Donegan shared his own journey from carpenter, to project manager, to managing director and was able to give first hand advice about what businesses are looking for in a young employee.

“Showing enthusiasm and initiative is so important when it comes to leaving an impression,” he said. “It might be as simple as picking up a broom when you’ve got nothing else to do. An employer will notice those things.

“There are so many pathways within the building and construction industry, beyond just working on the tools. If you have the right mindset and work ethic there are so many opportunities.”

Ben and Anthony both had few plans and many jobs before beginning their careers with Bunnings, but have both made the most of every opportunity offered by the company.

Anthony described the induction process for students doing work placement and the opportunities available for Bunnings employees to challenge themselves.

“The opportunities at Bunnings for further education offer an alternative pathway for young people like yourselves,” he said. “I’ve also seen lots of young people working in the timber yard and trades area picked up by employers for apprenticeships or traineeships.”

Ben agreed that work placement at Bunnings was a great opportunity to gain experience and people skills.

“In Bendigo we offer two work placement jobs per week, all year round, so there’s a good chance you’ll be successful if you apply and are enthusiastic,” he said. “We’re a people business and big on customer service. If you have good people skills and show initiative it’s a place you can really get somewhere.”

BSSC thanks Bernie, Anthony and Ben for giving their time and sharing so generously with the students.