A new employment hub was recently opened in Penrith, NSW as part of the Australian and NSW Government’s 10-year Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan. Delivered in partnership with Lendlease, the Northern Road Employment and Training Hub aims to equip local jobseekers with the necessary skills and training that would help them capitalise on a range of job opportunities available in several road and infrastructure projects coming up under the Plan.

Backed by $2.9 billion of Federal funding, the purpose-built hub is committed to creating “a pipeline of skilled people…to supply current projects and leave a legacy of capable Western Sydney workers ready to tackle future projects”. The hub places trainees in apprenticeships and full-time jobs with contractors working on various projects.

Established industry leaders understand the need to invest in the next generation of workforces by committing resources to proper training and development, helping them realise their long-term plans for world-class infrastructure.

Modular Walls shares this philosophy, deeply valuing the cadetship opportunities offered within their engineering division.

According to Nick Holden, founder and CEO of Modular Walls, the cadets in their engineering division come with inspirations and aspirations, and an eagerness to further their knowledge and skills. Since they’re still new to the industry with no pre-conceived ideas, their varied skillset and mentality can be really beneficial in devising innovative solutions, he added.

Nick also believes that the training program is an investment for the future of the industry, given that fresh talent holds a lot of potential, which should be given an opportunity to thrive.

Nathan Yabsley, a long-term cadet of Modular Walls will be completing his Bachelor of Civil Engineering this year. He appreciates the opportunities available to him through his position within Modular Walls.

Yabsley explains that he is gaining experience from an industry-leading Australian manufacturer, working across all types of projects from supplying to Tier 1 contractors to comprehensive design-and-construct projects. This allows him to learn and develop a ‘real world’ application of his studies, whilst drawing a wage from flexible working hours that fit around his changing university schedule.

Nick Buchanan, the newest cadet to join the Modular Walls team, shares the same appreciation of the opportunities available to him. He has been working in a broad range of roles from estimating, to design and project management.

Nick explains: “Internships and ‘in industry’ education aren’t the kind of things that show up noticeably on profit/loss statements, but by having an industry culture of mentoring across all companies — large and small — it safeguards against skilled labour shortages and improves the growth, quality and viability of the civil industry as a whole.”

The NSW Minister for Western Sydney, Mr Stuart Ayres sums it up perfectly: “Infrastructure is about more than bridges, roads and airports; it is an opportunity to create pathways for the next generation of apprentices and workers in NSW.”