Indigenous Trainees Start Work On The West Gate Tunnel

31 July 2018

The Andrews Labor Government’s West Gate Tunnel is giving indigenous trainees a head-start in the construction industry with a new pre-apprenticeship program supporting more Indigenous Australians to enter the industry.

Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan visited the newest recruits on their first day of work at the West Gate Tunnel’s northern portal site in Footscray.

Trainees completed a four week pre-employment program at Kangan Institute, which included selected units from Certificate II in Building and Construction. The program focused on providing trainees with safe work skills and pathways into further studies.

The trainee group of 3 women and 7 men will be placed in various roles across the West Gate Tunnel’s five major worksites in Melbourne’s west, with a support program to ensure a smooth transition into the workforce.

While working on the West Gate Tunnel Project, the trainees will also complete a civil construction Certificate III over 18 months.

The West Gate Tunnel Project Aboriginal Pre-Employment Program has drawn on the experience of industry partners including Kangan Institute and Goal Indigenous Services.

The program included hands-on training to learn practical skills needed for working on major infrastructure projects, including how to read engineering plans and drawings, and use a range of tools and equipment.

The West Gate Tunnel Project is creating 6,000 new jobs, including 500 jobs for apprentices, trainees and graduates and up to 150 jobs for former auto workers.

Construction is well underway on the West Gate Tunnel Project, with more than 2,000 people already working on the project.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan

“The West Gate Tunnel Project is creating opportunities for Indigenous Victorians to get practical training and experience for a career in the construction industry that will set them up for life.”

“The West Gate Tunnel will slash congestion and take trucks off local roads – but perhaps most importantly it’s creating 6,000 jobs for Victorians and hundreds of training opportunities for the people that need them most.”

Quote attributable to GOAL Indigenous Services General Manager Dean Rioli

“We have worked closely with the West Gate Tunnel Project to find the best people for the job and we value their commitment to providing fantastic opportunities for Indigenous Australians.”

Quote attributable to Kristy Stewart, graduate of the Aboriginal Pre-employment Program

“The training course has been an amazing experience and I am excited to be starting my career on the biggest road tunnel project in Victoria.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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