20th April 2011
New South Wales and Victoria
MIGAS Apprentice Development Program
Hunter Valley 5th – 7th April 2011
The Apprentice Development Program (ADP) was created by MIGAS Apprentices & Trainees to recognise the wealth of talent and commitment that exists amongst the MIGAS network of apprentices and trainees. The creative learning environment of MIGAS’ ADP is designed to be a unique opportunity for participants to develop their leadership, entrepreneurial and career development skills.
To be considered for a position in the elite program the nominee must prove that they are committed to their apprenticeship/traineeship and be able to demonstrate leadership skills in all areas of their apprenticeship or traineeship.
The attendees of the first Apprentice Development Program arrived early and enthusiastically to register for their first session. David began by introducing himself and spoke a little on the program’s inception, which included his desire to share insightful information with young people which will, in turn, enable them the best chance of future success. After this the attendees of 12 boys and 1 girl introduced themselves one at a time and shared their expectations of the program.
Guest speaker, Hugh Gyton, started off the first session in his usual dynamic style. He delivered his Conversation M.O.D.E. which allowed the attendees to learn not only about their own make up and personality style, but also how to look out for personality style of others.
The group was ready to go at 8:30am listening intently to Hugh as he shared his methods of making conversation work and how to tap into other peoples style’s of communication to get the best result out of every conversation we have. Hugh concluded with some steps to combat the inner chatter that goes on in our head which he refers to as “the monkey” and to enable us to prepare ourselves for a conversation with another person. The participation from the group was impressive as they worked through the session together, really taking the message in.
Morning tea was served before they all embarked on the next session with Darryl Walker to experience the forest and learn decision making techniques that are best learned in unfamiliar territory – the bush at Blackbutt reserve.
Darryl gave a short talk on the importance of teamwork and decision making for success in business. The candidates broke up into teams in preparation for the exercise ahead. The teams were to navigate through the bush using coordinates that Darryl had given them and were to use a GPS to find some necessary equipment in which they would construct a chair to carry “Cleopatra”. This chair construction had to not only be planned by the three teams in separate places, they needed to look the same and needed to be safe enough for “Cleopatra” to be carried to the edge of the reserve safely.
The Teams were:
Misguided - Shelbee, Matt, Chris and Brian
The A Team - Mick, Stuart, Nathan and Nathan.
Bear Grills - Adam, Jacob, Ben, Tane and Joe.
Hayley, MIGAS Central Coast Administration, followed team Misguided, with Brian as the navigator, and his job was to find the wood that had been hidden throughout the bush. Chris was the radio person in charge of working through the objectives of construction with the other teams. Chris was unable to get radio contact with the other teams, so had to make all the decisions on how the chair should look and construction commenced.
The constructed chairs were somewhat different, but much effort had gone into each one regardless of the obstacles they faced as teams.
It has to be said that Hayley went the extra mile, literally, to get some terrific shots of the session and managed to make her way out of the bush without the help of a map. Well done Hayley, who said women couldn’t navigate? The BBQ held by the Hunter Valley team after the exercise was much appreciated by the hungry bunch and the BBQ trailer was indeed christened, finally. Thanks Nick, Donna and Sarah.
In the evening we had a session by Ian and Brad from Australian Super on the best ways to make a nest egg for retirement and the best ways to stay out of trouble with banks and other financial institutions. This session was very well received and noted by all who participated.
David kicked off Day 3 with a quick review of the past two days and introduced Ian Hutchinson from Life by Design as having a message on how to “design our lives for a better future”. Brad, MIGAS Central Coast Team Leader, joined in on these sessions and Ian started by getting the group on their feet to participate in a few team exercises on thinking outside the square. After this he went on to explain some strategies on how to set our future goals and not to live in the present only. He went on to help the participants to see the possible obstacles ahead of them and show how these can be part of our growth to create the people we will become. After lunch, it was a time to look at our thinking and how it can stifle the way we perceive life and the simple steps we can take to produce a better out-look.
Donna (MIGAS NSW State Manager), Matt (MIGAS Business Development Manager), Nick (MIGAS Hunter Valley Team Leader), Carol (MIGAS HV HRDO) and Natasha (MIGAS Sydney Team Leader) sat in on the session after lunch, so three teams were formed to recap for them the sessions they missed before they participated in the last two sessions. It was fantastic to hear the content that was remembered by the participants. They had retained an immense amount of what the program was about which and helped in the preparation for the session ahead. Ian started the next session and the “next five years” were pondered and where they would like to be, if we consider life had been good to us, and discussed the possible obstacles we would come across and how these could be managed even though not anticipated.
The final session was wrapped up at the end of afternoon tea. It consisted of some feedback from individuals and groups around what was blocking them from setting and /or achieving their goals. It was evident that a number of participants were really re-evaluating their life and work choices.
David finished by thanking the guest speakers for their input into the apprentices’ and trainees’ lives and asking the participants to fill in the final feedback sheet.
Participation Certificates were handed out to all the apprentices and trainees and many of the participants hung around for a coke or a beer at the end of the program to further discuss what they had learned and how their lives will be improved or changed by the program.
Overall, the program was a huge success and a great addition to our company’s tool box of things we do when we are “making a difference” in the lives of young people. The next program will run from the 18th to the 20th May in Brisbane.