Trainee grabs opportunity

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian

When Geraldton Senior College student Reese Strickland won school-based trainee of the year at the recent Apprentice Employment Network WA 2017 Awards of Excellence, his father had tears in his eyes.

The Year 11 student was recognised for his efforts at Commonwealth Bank Geraldton, where he is working towards a Certificate II in Business.

Reese said the awards night in Perth had been full of proud moments for his parents and Commonwealth Bank branch manager Bronwyn Tillett.

“Absolutely, Bronwyn was sitting with my dad and he had tears in his eyes,” he said. “Both dad and my stepmum are very proud of my achievements.”

Although Reese is still completing training in financial services, the 16-year-old said maths was not his favourite subject in school, but he recognised its importance.

“It’s important for a lot of careers and this traineeship will help develop skills. I heard about the traineeship through school, and then dad helped me decide if it was a path I would take,” he said.

“The interest is more around the opportunity that the traineeship will provide.”

Ms Tillett said the Commonwealth Bank school-based traineeship program provided opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 11 and 12 to gain insights into working in financial services.

“The program is designed to foster talent and gives students the opportunity to gain vital on-the-job experience, new skills and workplace confidence,” she said.

“The success of students like Reese is what the program is all about — we are so proud to have him as part of the team.”

Reese said he was unsure of his career aspirations, but he definitely wanted to put his training at the bank to good use.

He encouraged fellow students to grab hold of any opportunity that came knocking.

“Make the most of every opportunity when it presents itself while you are young,” he said.

“You can always change your path later if you want your career to head in a different direction.”

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