The Victorian branch of the Civil Contractors Federation is introducing a new skills training program, beginning with a workshop for project partners this month.  

The Training Criteria would see the introduction of a line item in all contracts over $100,000, to be used to fund training and re-skilling of the civil construction workforce.  

Victorian CCF Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Cullino comments that the pilot training program will demonstrate the potential value of the Training Criteria through industry participation. The pilot program involves the Training Criteria being applied to a selection of civil construction projects being undertaken by a number of suburban councils.  

The Training Criteria involves an analysis of each specific project, with those submitting tenders responsible for identifying the skill and knowledge requirements, as well as demonstrating the capability of their workforce in relation to these requirements.      

The pilot program also has the support of a number of universities and registered training organisations, whose role in the Training Criteria is to complete a gap analysis and deliver an appropriate training component.  

All of the projects being undertaken as part of the pilot program will have an emphasis on water sensitive urban design, demonstrating one of the key drivers behind the ongoing emphasis on training and re-skilling.  

Given the increased emphasis on environment-sensitive design, Mr Cullino believes it is critical that the workforce responsible for delivering key infrastructure is knowledgeable and up-to-date when it comes to new techniques and materials that encourage sustainability.  

With an increasing skills shortage in the civil construction industry, it has become important to implement a range of measures to improve the long term viability of the civil construction workforce.  

The Training Criteria is just one of CCF‟s projects aimed at improving workforce sustainability.  

Addressing the skills shortage delivers benefits for state and local governments including increased productivity, reduced project costs and greater certainty around the delivery of capital works. The successful pilot program will hopefully lead to the Training Criteria being applied to all Victorian Government and Local Government projects.