The program was developed to increase the engagement, development and retention of long-term unemployed people on current infrastructure projects while creating a sustainable pipeline of skilled people to support ongoing infrastructure delivery.
Over six weeks, participants learnt basic measurement and calculation skills relevant to construction, industry standard safety practices and the ability to operate small plant and equipment. The entire program was developed to provide participants with the best opportunity to sustain a long-term career in civil construction.
Georgiou – which has secured the Civil Contractors Federations Training Employer of the Year Award a record six times – was a standout choice when it came to delivering the pilot program.
“The Western Australian Government, in consultation with industry, scoped a four-week program in 2020 which we utilised and then built out to six weeks. The Georgiou program has a greater mix of job-ready components and is being delivered onsite at our Leach Welshpool Interchange Project. The program also saw participants complete a Certificate II in Civil Construction,” explains Learning Manager Jason Stern.
“Georgiou and our training partner, Training Alliance Group, conducted a number of information sessions around WA to present the program and the employment opportunities to job seekers who we registered with job active providers. Our program was aimed at young (16-24 years of age), women, mature age (45 years and older) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders participants.”
In September, Georgiou and Training Alliance Group welcomed 20 participants on the first program, of those 17 completed their Certificate II and 10 are now employed on this project full-time, while undertaking an apprenticeship.
“Being the only metropolitan civil alliance approved by Main Roads WA to run the program, we feel a great responsibility to pave the way for other contractors to run similar programs and together boost capability in the construction industry. We are facing a skills shortage like we’ve never seen, and this program has the potential to change the way we resource our projects,” said Mr Stern.
“To be at the forefront and work closely with the Western Australian Government and Main Roads Western Australia is a great opportunity. We look forward to doing our bit to create a sustainable industry here in Western Australia. Additionally, we couldn’t be happier to give those, who have been unemployed for extended periods of time, an opportunity to change their lives.”