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Townsville Bulletin : Time right to increase work skills : May 26 2018

Sat May 26 2018

Time right to increase work skills

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TOWNSVILLE jobseekers are being encouraged to gain new qualifications to improve their chances of securing work on major upcoming infrastructure projects in the region.

TP Human Capital managing director Clayton Cook said construction of the stadium, pipeline and road projects would create a high demand across a number of employment areas in the coming months and years.

“Not a lot of the large infrastructure projects have kicked off yet, which is why we’re so confident that there will be those job opportunities,” he said. “There have been some civil construction and smallerscale projects, such as roadworks, that have definitely put pressure on construction labourers and skilled operators.

“But when larger projects really kick off like the stadium and Haughton River bridge, the demand for workers will increase.” Mr Cook said he expected increased demand in traffic management, concreters, machinery operators, landscapers, project administration, safety officers and engineers in Townsville in the future.

He said jobseekers looking to find work could undertake new qualifications or upskill existing ones at minimal monetary or time cost.

“Not all training courses need to be years of duration, expensive or require apprenticeships to get into employment,” he said.

Mr Cook said gaining extra tickets or certificates could be enough to gain employment even if the person had minimal work experience.

“Of course experience is very important but as the job market tightens for relevant skills, employers will have to start being flexible and if you have that little extra knowledge it could give you an edge,” he said. “For example a landscaper might pay to get a chainsaw operator ticket for which the training course is only two days.”

TAFE Queensland North Region general manager Joann Pyne said there were several short courses aligned with the construction industry that can take between one day and two weeks to complete.

“We have seen 17 per cent growth in our painting and decorating program … we also deliver forklift and skid steer and excavator training,” she said.

Ms Pyne said there are a number of funded training opportunities available to “eligible and motivated” individuals.

“Funding is available through the Construction Skills Queensland Skills Assessment and Gap Training program to help eligible students gain general or civil construction qualifications,” she said.