Apprentices Get New Lease On Life Learning On WestConnex

Sam Field from Baulkham Hills has been selected as one of the first 15 recruits to be trained up by the newly established WestConnex Training Academy and engaged on the project.

Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott congratulated Mr Field on his selection, which will mean state of the art training and mentorship from some of the project’s leading construction supervisors, safety experts and engineers.

“The Australian and NSW Governments are committed to improving job prospects for Indigenous Australians, long-term unemployed and people who have encountered barriers to employment,” Mr Elliott said.

“Without the proper training, it is often too hard for people to make the leap from unemployment to jobs on major construction sites.

“Working with Quakers Hill TAFE, registered training organisations and a number of employment agencies, including Mission Australia who sponsored Mr Field, the contractors delivering the M4 East and New M5 projects, have established a fantastic pathway for apprentices and trainees to work on Australia’s largest infrastructure project.

“Students who graduate from TAFE’s pre-employment programs where they learn basic civil construction industry skills such as working at heights, using power tools, and operating small machinery are then recruited for roles on the projects and further training at the WestConnex Training Academy.

“Provided with a balance of classroom time and experience on the job, these recruits will learn all about safely operating machinery, workplace health and safety as well as other specific skills relevant to civil construction and tunnelling work.

“The first 15 recruits have already been selected have been already engaged on the project for five weeks and graduates from the second program have just started or are about to start.”

Mr Field said learning at the pre-employment program run by TAFE and the additional training at the academy would provide him with skills to ensure he can continue to work in construction.

“I had been working in bathroom tiling but working in construction really interests me,” he said.

“The skills I learn here will help me gain work on other large infrastructure projects in the future.

“The best part so far has been the people – even people not involved in the academy are really helpful.”

The academy will also provide extra skills such as project inductions and tunnelling training for more than 1,500 workers already employed on the WestConnex M4 East and New M5.

For more information on the academy visit www.westconnex.com.au.