For Dubbo’s Bruno Efoti, supporting young apprentices with their mental health is not just a job – it’s a passion.
The founder of Tradies In Sight was a tradie himself for many years, and saw first-hand the stress many young men were experiencing, often in silence, which saw them fail to complete their apprenticeships – or worse.
Now Mr Efoti will be able to support an additional 450 apprentices, with Nationals’ Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders announcing $23,895 from the NSW Government for The Inspection Pit.
“TAFE NSW gives apprentices the skills and the knowledge to ply their trade – Bruno gives them the tools to look after their mental health,” Mr Saunders said.
“We need these future chippies, plumbers, sparkies and heavy vehicle mechanics to keep our trucks on the road and build our houses, hospitals and schools, so it’s vital we give them the support they need to thrive!
“This funding will allow Bruno to work closely with TAFE teachers in Dubbo to support the mental health and wellbeing of their students.”
In August 2021, the NSW Government gave Tradies In Sight a place to call home, appointing Mr Efoti as the Crown Land manager of a 1,085 square metre reserve in Welchman Street, which was formerly used as a Girl Guides Hall.
Mr Efoti said since then, over 3,000 people have attended the shed, 70 per cent of them tradies looking for an understanding ear.
This new funding will enable Tradies In Sight to deliver The Inspection Pit program to about 450 electrical, plumbing, carpentry and welding apprentices training through TAFE NSW this year.
“It’s been mind-blowing,” Mr Efoti said.
“We want to plant ourselves very early on in the intervention space, give them the awareness and skills to be able to examine where their mental health is at, so that it’s not as confronting for them to see a doctor or clinician.
“This funding can help us really increase our capacity to do so much more than we have in the past!”