31 July 2018

The 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.

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