As the resources boom sees the demand for skilled workers in Australia become even greater, Ertech continues to work hard to ensure that today’s youth have the knowledge and training necessary to fill the trade shortage.
Driven by the vision of current Executive Chairman Jim Giumelli, Ertech proudly opened their first Ertech Construction Academy in Forrestdale in 2008. This facility proved extremely successful in providing secondary students with a pathway into civil construction, enabling them to be ‘job ready’ for positions that arose in the industry.
This year saw the Ertech Construction Academy relocate to a new site at the Tamala Park Waste facility, where it was officially reopened on May 4 by Training and Workforce Development Minister Peter Collier. The training site has been provided by the Mindarie Regional Council and will enable students of local secondary schools to access the Academy program. This program will see Year 11 and 12 students complete a Certificate II in Civil Construction whilst still attending school. The Registered Training Organisation behind the program is Polytechnic West.
“The opportunity for students to not only learn the theory of civil construction but become competent in operating construction machinery has been a real bonus for their career paths,” said Mr Giumelli. “To see students at 16 and 17 years of age competently operating bobcats, 20 tonne excavators, front end loaders and rollers, long before they have a drivers licence is testament to the quality of the program and the training they receive.”
Two girls currently enrolled in the academy program have demonstrated their operating skills and are proving to be developing into very capable operators. Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mr Collier, emphasised how valuable the Ertech Construction Academy program was in providing many of its graduates with the opportunity to gain employment by being ‘job ready’, and congratulated Ertech on providing the resources necessary. Students in the current cohort are from Clontarf Aboriginal College, Lockridge Senior High School, Belmont City College, Irene McCormack Catholic College and Wanneroo Senior High School.
The Ertech Construction Academy will also provide opportunities for local councils to have access to capable job ready applicants, and plans are underway to offer more Year 11 students the opportunity to join the program in the second semester of this year. “From 2008- 2012, our academy will have enrolled over 60 students. Many individuals who have completed the program have gone onto employment with Ertech or similar companies,” states Mr Giumelli.