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Eleven Wilcannia locals will graduate from an innovative training program this week equipped with job-ready skills in construction thanks to a collaboration between WaterNSW, Murdi Paaki Services, Regional Enterprise Development Institute (REDI.E) and TAFE NSW.
Initiated by WaterNSW, the training program was designed to help local Aboriginal people capitalise on opportunities presented by the Wilcannia weir replacement and proposed BAAKA Cultural Centre.
Participants from REDI.E have now completed the first stage of the program ‘fit for work’ and are equipped with a TAFE NSW Statement of Attainment and a Certificate I and II in Construction. A number of the graduates may benefit with potential opportunities on local projects with REDI.E and the weir replacement with WaterNSW.
TAFE NSW graduate, Jarome-Jarid Cattermole said he has thoroughly enjoyed his studies and is looking forward to gaining employment.
“The program has provided a great opportunity for me to develop my practical skills and complete the qualifications needed to start my career in construction. It means that I won’t have to leave Wilcannia to find employment, the weir replacement project has provided more opportunities for our community,” Jarome said.
“I’ve also been invited to create Aboriginal artwork that will be used at the weir site to add a personal touch and sense of our culture and community.”
WaterNSW Lead Project Manager for the Wilcannia Weir Replacement Project Brendan O’Neill congratulated the students on their achievements.
“As part of our commitment to the Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC) policy, WaterNSW is providing these training opportunities to the community,” Mr O’Neill said.
“The skills developed in the program can help build local capacity to improve future opportunities on other projects and industries in the region.”
The second phase of the program has recently commenced, equipping students with TAFE NSW qualifications in hospitality and tourism to gain employment with increasing tourism and retail opportunities in town.
For more information on the tourism and hospitality courses available at TAFE NSW Wilcannia through the program visit, www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist