Lifelong ambition

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Lifelong ambition
                                           in woodworking goes back                          “I love making furniture
by Jennifer Curtis                         much further.                                that can be passed on from
                                                “I was always interested,               generation to generation,”
Clarecraft Jarrah’s Ashlee                 even as a kid,” said Ashlee. “I              she said.
Scinocco is a passionate                   used to play with bits of wood                    “Solid timber can be
furniture maker. So                        and tools when I was small.                  difficult to work with but it is
passionate, in fact, she won                    “My family was sceptical                more challenging – you never
the 2008 WA Apprentice                     when I started in the trade but              get bored.”
of the Year Award in                       now they are very proud. I                        Ashlee was placed at
September.                                 hope to become a role model                  Clarecraft by Workplace
     Hosted by the                         for other women thinking                     Services – a group training
Department of Education                    about entering a male                        company dedicated to
and Training, finalists                     dominated trade.”                            employing and supporting
at the WA Apprentice of                         With a keen eye for                     young people in apprenticeships
the Year Awards night in                   detail, Ashlee enjoys working                and traineeships.
September came from                        with solid timber and is                          Workplace Services’
apprentices employed in all                never afraid to think big.                   Didier Monot said that they
                                                                                                                          Ashlee Scinocco
trades covering hospitality,               She hopes to one day open                    were finding more and more
building and manufacturing,                her own furniture business                   woodworking companies liked
which covers about 10,000                  where she can pass on                        having female apprentices              Her employer, Clarecraft’s
apprentices.                               her knowledge, skills and                    in the trade because: “They       John Clare is proud of
     Ashlee is a fourth year               experience to the next                       usually have a good work          Ashlee and her achievement
apprentice who has been                    generation of apprentices.                   ethic and show great attention    and the example that she sets
working with Clarecraft                    In the meanwhile, however,                   to details.                       for other apprentices.
Jarrah for 18 months. She                  she intends to continue with                      “They also tend to be             “Over the four years
studied furniture design and               her apprenticeship and then                  surrounded by men (at work)       since the change in our
technology in years 11 and                 undertake some                               and that makes them work          company focus from outdoor
12 at school but her interest              design courses.                              harder to prove themselves.”      furniture to bedroom, we have
                                                                                                                          actively sought out to re-train
                                                                                                                          our workers and focus on
                                                                                                                          employing and training young
                                                                                                                          workers to add to the skills
                                                                                                                          base in our industry.
                                                                                                                               “At present over 25%
                                                                                                                          of our workforce are in
                                                                                                                          various stages of their
                                                                                                                          furniture making studies.
                                                                                                                          It would have been easier
                                                                                                                          and cheaper to source our
                                                                                                                          workers from overseas or to
                                                                                                                          part manufacture overseas to
                                                                                                                          combat the labour and skills
                                                                                                                          shortage that we have in WA.I
                                                                                                                               “It has been a policy
                                                                                                                          that has caused distress in
                                                                                                                          the market over hefty price
                                                                                                                          increases in our product over
                                                                                                                          the past two years. However,
                                                                                                                          long-term, it is a policy that
                                                                                                                          will pay dividends by investing
                                                                                                                          in labour that will promote
                                                                                                                          fresh ideas in design and
                                                                                                                          manufacturing techniques.”
                                                                                                                               Ashlee will represent WA
                                                                                                                          in the national apprenticeship
Workplace Services’ Didier Monot, Ashlee Scinocco and Clarecraft Jarrah’s John Clare.                                     finals in Darwin. -S-

44>SupplierNovember 2008                                                                                           

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Description: Lifelong ambition