Blogs (Media Centre)

TAFE NSW program builds the skills needed to secure local construction jobs

TAFE NSW program builds the skills needed to secure local construction jobs

A TAFE NSW pre-employment program, targeted at indigenous students from Murrin Bridge near Lake Cargelligo, has upskilled twelve learners with the knowledge and experience needed to secure employment within the growing construction industry. 

The program involved a collaboration between TAFE NSW, WaterNSW and their delivery partner Diona, with students given access to the ongoing construction work on Lake Cargelligo’s dam embankments as part of their learning.  

The construction industry employs over 110,000 workers in the Central West and this number is set to grow up to 6% by 2026, with TAFE NSW ensuring regional communities have the in-demand skills needed to secure local jobs. 

TAFE NSW Head Teacher for Construction, Hugh Foy, said that TAFE NSW is committed to ensuring all people, including those experiencing disadvantage, have access to the training they need to participate fully in their local communities and the economy.  

“We are focused on providing regional and remote learners with the training and accreditation they need to secure local employment,” Mr Foy said. 

“Students in this program gained a Certificate II in Construction and have hands-on experience after completing updates to the local Murrin Bridge pre-school.  

“WaterNSW and its construction partner, Diona, have employed three locals on the Lake Cargelligo embankment upgrade project. 

“A further five traineeships have been offered. 

“That’s a huge result for the small community of Murrin Bridge.” 

Twenty-two percent of the community were enrolled in the program which had an 86% completion rate, and already a quarter of those graduates are employed. 

WaterNSW Executive Manager Operations Ronan Magaharan said it’s important for large projects like the Lake Cargelligo embankment upgrade to create opportunities for the community.  

“We are delighted to have collaborated on this project and amplified the community benefits of this infrastructure upgrade.  

“Beyond upgrading the community’s vital water infrastructure, the project is leaving a legacy of skills and employment that will unlock opportunities for participants long into the future. 

“Partnering with TAFE NSW and Murrin Bridge Local Aboriginal Land Council to upskill locals from the Murrin Bridge community also ensures we have the right people with the right knowledge and skills to fill in-demand construction jobs, in the Central West and across the state. 

“Key to the program’s success is working closely with our construction partners, Diona, to unlock opportunities for training and learning throughout the construction program.  

WaterNSW First Nations Engagement Manager Russell Hill said learners were also invited by WaterNSW to tour the project area to gain a greater understanding of how the site operates. 

“It was a great way for the learners to see what sort of projects their new skills can contribute to, and we look forward to working closely with our industry partners in the future as a means of boosting training and employment opportunities for First Nations people and communities,” Mr Hill said. 

Diona’s Project Community Relations Lead David Crowhurst said exposure to a working job site helped to highlight the career opportunities available to learners.  

“We talked about the various roles and opportunities offered in construction, to show them just how far they can grow their career and the pathways available to them now that they’ve finished the program,” Mr Crowhurst said.