Bega Valley Shire Council will establish six 2-year civil construction industry traineeships with funding recently awarded under Regional NSW’s Regional Youth Investment Program.
CEO Anthony McMahon said Council will hold a series of workshops for local young people, with a particular focus on high school students and Aboriginal youth, explaining the traineeship program and the broader career opportunities within Council.
“Civil construction includes things like earthworks, pipe laying, bridge building and road construction,” Mr McMahon said.
“The multiple natural disasters over the past few years have caused significant infrastructure damage and for some time now, we have experienced a critical skills shortage in the civil construction industry, not just here but across NSW.
“When the opportunity to address our own skilled labour shortage as well as provide half a dozen young people with a career path presented itself, we jumped on it.
“We are one of the larger employers in the region and have the skills and knowledge within our existing workforce to support the development of those about to start their careers.
“If these trainees continue employment with Council or move into the local contract sector, it will still benefit the community.
“Through our Youth Employment Program, we will work closely with local high schools, our three Local Aboriginal Land Councils and other youth-focussed community groups to encourage local young people to apply for one of our six traineeships.
“We will establish internal mentoring programs and run application and interview coaching seminars to support young people in applying for the traineeships.
“The successful trainees will gain Certificate 3 level qualifications in civil construction, building maintenance and plant operation.
“At the conclusion of the program, any trainee unable to secure permanent employment with Council will be supported to find employment with local civil construction businesses.
Mr McMahon said Council has initially reached out to the Local Land Councils and will soon do the same with local schools as well as advertise further how young people in the community can get more information.
Above: Former trainees on-site: Craig Corby, Supervisor of Civil Contracts (left) and Nathan Wu, Team Leader of Pavement Construction.