The Townsville Ring Road Section 4 project is offering job seekers a kick-start to their new careers, with Seymour Whyte, CSQ and TAFE Queensland North teaming up to provide industry experience for trainees.

The Trade Start Civil course, which is funded by CSQ, provides career seekers with an introduction to the civil construction industry, incorporating both classroom theory and onsite work experience.

Diversified engineering and construction group Seymour Whyte, is carrying out the design and construction of Townsville Ring Road Section 4 Project and recently hosted five participants from the Trade Start Civil program, showing them the ropes on a working construction site.

“It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said.

“The initiative was created in collaboration with Seymour Whyte, TAFE and CSQ and is a great example of industry working together to attract more people into new careers.

“We have a Trade Start Civil program running in Townsville at TAFE Queensland North and the trainees jumped at the chance to gain some major project experience on a project like the Townsville Ring Road.”

Seymour Whyte Project Environmental Engineer, Stephen Mount explained that the trainees work as part of the team.

“Trainees are assigned to a different leading hand, who allocates their work schedule, rotating them around to gain exposure to a range of activities. They join our morning pre-start as part of our crew,” he said.

“On site, there are large bulk earthworks, drainage structures, pipes and culverts, bridges and overpasses.
“It’s a diverse job and provides great exposure on a major project.”

Ms Laurna Love, TAFE Queensland North Portfolio Manager for Primary Industries and Construction said the Trade Start program was a great place to start for anyone thinking about a career in the construction industry.  

“We have five trainees currently undertaking 160 hours structured work placement with Seymour Whyte,” she said.

“The support we get from industry is fantastic and we work closely with Seymour Whyte, Mendi and Lend Lease to provide students with the best job placements possible.

“Our students complete six weeks of safety and basic workplace skills before going on site for the first time, so they are well prepared for the experience and they gain a real appreciation for the work they will be doing out in the industry.

“We already have two standout students; Rebecca Barnes and Joey Devargo have been going really well and making a good impression on site,” Ms Love said.

“Rebecca is based in the Tablelands but decided to travel to Townsville to study our course.

“She had some previous experience working in civil construction down south and wanted to get back into the civil construction industry which she enjoys.

“Joey was looking for a career change and decided to try civil construction.

“I spoke to him the other day and he said he is really enjoying his placement with Seymour Whyte and is grateful for the opportunity.

“Kick-starting careers is what we do best, and with the support of industry, we’re opening doors to life long careers.”

Find out more about the Trade Start Civil course at TAFE Queensland North: CSQ Trade Start Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Workplace Preparation

Townsville Ring Road

Construction of the Townsville Ring Road Section 4 started earlier this year and includes an 11.5 km section of new road, bridges and overpasses. The completed Ring Road will provide a high-speed bypass of Townsville for heavy and commercial vehicles and direct access to and from the Townsville Port Access Road, delivering improved safety and traffic efficiency. Construction is expected to be complete in mid-2017.