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Army April 11, 2013
Trade school students see the end of an era
WO2 Andrew Hetherington
THE Australian-run Trade Training
School (TTS) at Multinational Base
Tarin Kot graduated its final group of
students on March 16.
The graduation ended an era in
which Australian engineers trained,
mentored and advised Afghan students
and their instructors, beginning with
Reconstruction Task Force 1 in 2006.
During its history, the TTS ran more
than 40 courses and more than 900 stu-
dents have gained life-changing trade
Their graduation certificate, train-
ing and experience allows them to gain
employment with Afghan construction
One of the 33 students who gradu-
ated with the last TTS class was Khan.
During the 124 days of tuition, Khan
and his class mates learned skills in
carpentry, tiling, concreting, plumbing
"I decided to do the training because
I wanted to do something for my
future," Khan said.
"When I go back to where I live, I
want to work with others in a workshop
to learn more, as I am now a profes-
sional person and they will want me to
work with them.
"I would also like to start my own
plumbing business one day."
TTS supervisor WO2 Kelvin Baulch
said the training benefited graduates
and improved their future employment
"If the students of this course didn't
attend the training, they would most
likely be working on an Afghan build-
ing site digging holes and labouring,
earning $5 a day," WO2 Baulch said.
"After completion of their training
here, local contractors now can employ
them as a tradesman's assistant and
they can earn up to $20 a day, which is
great for them and their families."
In his other role with the Provincial
Reconstruction Team Uruzgan's
Managed Works Team, WO2 Baulch
has seen TTS graduates working in
"As part of travelling around
Uruzgan province visiting building
sites, I've seen past students and the
tool kits we issue them," WO2 Baulch
"This gives me a sense the commu-
nity has benefited from what we have
done at the TTS and now past students
can stand on their own two feet and
deliver quality works."
Spr Steven Mlinaric, a carpenter and
supervisor to the Afghan course instruc-
tors, said as part of his job he got hands
on with the tools and passed on his
knowledge. He also ensured the tools
were serviceable and there were enough
materials to work with.
"Working with the Afghan kids was
the most satisfying part of my job here
-- they are eager to learn and have a
sense of humour. It was also interest-
ing to learn about their culture," Spr
Afghan TTS instructor Amel Jan
graduated from one of the first courses
in 2007 and passes what he learnt from
more than six years of experience on to
"It was a feeling of happiness for me
having been trained by the Australians
and now I am working with them. It's a
good feeling," Amel Jan said.
"All the people of Uruzgan should
be busy with their work and learn
Course graduate Hayatullah, oth-
erwise named by the TTS Australian
advisors as "Drop Saw", for his straight
and square hand-sawing skills, said he
had a bright future after completing his
"The reason I wanted to learn new
skills was I wanted to be something and
someone for the future," Hayatullah
"My favourite part of the course was
carpentry. When I graduate from here
and get older, I want to have my own
shop for carpentry, plumbing, painting
From mid-year, trade training will
be continued by a new Uruzgan gov-
ernment-run training provider based in
A skills trade: The civilian director of the Provincial
Reconstruction Team -- Uruzgan, John Feakes,
addresses students of the final class of the trade
training school at their graduation ceremony.
Above right, from left, instructor Amel Jan and Trade
Training School team member Spr Steven Mlinaric,
supervise carpentry student Hayatullah.
Inset, Hayatullah graduates on March 16.
Photos by WO2 Andrew Hetherington
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