The broadband rollout on the Coffs Coast is providing a welcome boost to Indigenous training and employment in the region with 14 jobs expected to come online in the next few weeks.
Joshua Jarrett and Kyle Duncan both started working this week after being unemployed for six and almost two years respectively.
“I’m loving getting up and going to work,” said 24-year-old Kyle. “It gets me out of the house which is great.”
Graeme Donovan has been working on the broadband rollout in Coffs Harbour since December and travels from Nambucca every day.
“I moved back to the area about 12 months ago looking for work,” Mr Donovan said.
“I picked up some casual work at a local sawmill but wanted something more stable for my family.
“ETC and the NCAP Program (New Careers for Aboriginal People) have been great in getting me trained and helping me secure this job.”
ETC’s NCAP Aboriginal Employment Advisor Jennie Rosser said training had been a major component of the men securing the work.
“We currently have four clients who are working on the broadband rollout and they all had to commit to about three months of training, which covered everything from working with overhead power lines, working at heights, working in confined spaces, First Aid and WH&S, as well as an online training program and Induction,” Ms Rosser said.
Ms Rosser said she was currently working with State Training Services, North Coast TAFE and Anderson Recruitment and Training Sydney to devise a skill set that would enable more streamlined training and quicker completion rates.
“We are thrilled to learn that State Training Services has agreed to fund an additional 10 Indigenous people under the Strategic Skills Program to undertake the training required to be involved in the broadband project,” Ms Rosser said.
“This is great news for unemployed Indigenous people in our area.”
For further information about Indigenous employment and the NCAP Program contact Jennie Rosser on 0419 895 170.