Gunnedah Shire Council is making the most of having a local TAFE campus, with almost 40 employees learning everything from metal fabrication to plant construction and maintenance, to business administration.
The council currently has 26 staff enrolled in trainee and apprenticeship courses, and a further 10 are undertaking other certificate-based courses.
Mayor Jamie Chaffey said combining on-the-job training and study towards a nationally recognised qualification was an important step in staff professional development.
"Apprenticeships and traineeships can unlock a lifetime of opportunities for the employee and employer," he said.
"Council has seen many benefits from providing this opportunity to staff."
Cr Chaffey said in the lead-up to the state election the council advocated for the reinstatement of apprenticeship courses at Gunnedah TAFE and funding for redevelopment of the campus, with both items ticked off.
"We realise TAFE has been disconnected in the past, however, there has been huge changes," Cr Chaffey said.
"Community support will ensure that we will continue to have a local TAFE with a wide variety of course offerings that service the needs of our community and provide opportunities for local people.
"The most recent construction course enrolments were made up entirely of council staff so we really want to highlight the need for business and industry to get behind our local TAFE. It really is a case of if you don't use it, you lose it."
Cr Chaffey said enrolments at the local campus have increased by 18 per cent since last year, and Indigenous student numbers have increased by 40 per cent.
"These are fantastic results, as a growing community with many job vacancies for skilled workers, ensuring that we have the ability to retain and train our young people is important to continuing to serve Gunnedah's economic growth," he said.