Bunbury’s unemployed Aboriginal people set to benefit from construction training program

Headshot of Jackson Barrett
Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Camera IconCredit: Picture: Peter Holton

A group of Bunbury’s unemployed Aboriginal people have found work, some for the very first time, thanks to a new program launched in the South West.

The Construction Ready for Work program is the first of its type in the country and has already helped seven of its 11 students find employment.

The program was launched in Bunbury in March and is delivered by Indigenous Professional Services management consultants and funded under the Department of Education, Skills and Employment Local Jobs Program.

IPS program manager Jan Ferraz said she was thankful for the support from a number of training providers as well as local companies who took trainees on board.

“The results have been inspirational,” she said.

“A number of South West companies have employed trainees from the program and in doing so, increased Aboriginal participation within their teams and organisations.

“I’m so proud of the drive and dedication displayed by the participants — not only for taking part and completing the program, but in embracing these opportunities for a future in the construction industry.”

Bunbury-based construction company Geographe Civil offered traineeships to two students from the program and general manager John Steer said he was committed to employing Aboriginal trainees.

“We’re keen to increase Aboriginal participation here by employing Aboriginal people, from trainees through to skilled positions,” he said.

“Diversity in our teams is so important. This is a great opportunity to align with State Government Aboriginal procurement initiatives, to build diversity and a strong future for our Aboriginal people.”

The program involves a three-week Infrastructure Ready Program, two weeks of workplace training and cultural training, while students also have access to transportation and meals, first aid training and an interviewing workshop as well as access to Aboriginal mentors.

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