With the boom in the construction industry in northern Australia, unemployed people living in remote Australia are finding themselves in demand following construction-related training.
The Australian Government’s Community Development Programme (CDP) helps people living in remote Australia to find work and allow them to contribute to their community and gain skills while looking for work. One recent example is the collaboration between CDP Provider Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation and Charles Darwin University to deliver the Certificate III in Civil Construction (Plant) at Ironbark’s Adelaide River site, one hundred kilometres south of Darwin.
Fifteen CDP participants from regional towns and communities like Batchelor, Tortilla Flats, Amangal Aboriginal Community and Adelaide River attended the training at Ironbark’s Adelaide River site where the job seekers learnt to operate machinery including bobcat, tractor, roller and backhoe/loader in a safe environment.
One of the youngest participants, twenty year old Joshua Parry from Amangal Community, also participated in the Drive Safe Program to obtain his Provisional Licence to increase his chances of gaining employment. Joshua had been looking for work for some time and was excited about using his newly gained skills in a construction-based job.
“I enjoyed using all the machines and learning how to operate them,” Joshua said.
“I’d really like to get a job down in Ngukurr or over Timber Creek Way.”
Post-training, Ironbark organised for some leading recruitment agencies for the construction industry to conduct interviews with participants for potential employment opportunities. As a result, three participants were hired by local company OOLOO Investments on the Rum Jungle road project at Batchelor and Josh commenced employment with Fawcett Transport Company at Tipperary Station building a new air strip.
Additionally, six other participants found employment in the construction industry, while one has found work with Indigenous-owned construction and mining company Rusca Brothers at Delamere and another was hired by R&S Gardening at Batchelor.
Construction work can be hard and hot work but this group is showing other remote job seekers what is possible with some training and a desire to build a better future for themselves and their families.