Building more local jobs

Melinda Pavey and Stuart Ayres open the hub last week

A new hub for training local job seekers in construction related careers is ensuring the local community benefits from the region’s infrastructure boom.

The Northern Road Employment and Training Hub at Penrith is training job seekers and placing them into apprenticeships and other construction related careers as part of the 10-year Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher said the plan will ensure western Sydney capitalises on the economic benefits surrounding the construction of the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

“The plan is estimated to support 4,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the various projects, with the new hub part of the $190 million contract to build The Northern Road upgrade from Glenmore Parkway to Jamison Road,” he said.

“The hub is being delivered in partnership with Lendlease, to provide some of the region’s most vulnerable people with pre-vocational skills, traineeships, internships, trade qualifications and jobs with contractors and subcontractors.

“So far 910 full time equivalent jobs have been created through the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan with the number expected to grow as work ramps up.”

State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres said the hub was working with vocational education providers, including TAFE NSW, to deliver the training and jobs to Aboriginal Australians, young people, long-term unemployed and those facing barriers to employment for a variety of reasons.

“What we are seeing here across western Sydney is phenomenal growth,” Mr Ayres said.

“We know that the Western Sydney Airport is coming online over the next few years and construction will start next year. The Northern Road is a crucial project for ensuring western Sydney grows and has the infrastructure to match that growth.

“We can’t miss the opportunity to train the next generation of our work force.”

NSW Minister for Roads, Melinda Pavey spoke to locals currently going through the training hub last Friday, saying the initiative helps support the unprecedented infrastructure boom that western Sydney is experiencing.

“We are going to need more construction workers into the future so you guys have set a very good path for yourselves,” Ms Pavey said.

“To have your employer figuratively wrap their arms around you and support you… is absolutely vital because we need people in the construction sector.”

The hub is a joint venture between the Federal Government, State Government and the private sector to help newcomers to the industry by providing training, employment and support in one place.

Emily Newton

Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.