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CDU meeting industry work-force demand

By Leanne Coleman

Civil lecturers Barry Whalan and Terence Halliday are helping students gain work-ready skills Civil lecturers Barry Whalan and Terence Halliday are helping students gain work-ready skills

Charles Darwin University has expanded its training area out to Hidden Valley to meet the growing demand for a civil construction workforce in the Northern Territory due to the burgeoning oil and gas industry.

Certificate III in Civil Construction students are on site building the foundation for the VIP Gold Grandstand due to be constructed for the V8 Super Cars in 2014.

Automotive and Civil lecturer Barry Whalan said the new venue allowed students the opportunity to learn to drive a variety of heavy machinery including tip trucks, water trucks, graders, excavators and rollers.

“Moving out to Hidden Valley has not only given us more space, it also gives the students an opportunity to gain real practical experience to develop the work-ready skills employers are looking for,” Mr Whalan said.

“There is currently a real need by industry for civil construction workers. This course gives apprentices and job seekers the practical skills and competency to become employed in the industry.”

With more than 100 years working in the civil construction industry between them, Mr Whalan and co-lecturer Terence Halliday can boast a 95 per cent employment rate for graduates. 

“This qualification is a step-up for the apprentices and a great starting point for anyone wanting employment in the civil construction industry,” Mr Halliday said. “From here they can move up into supervision roles and even on to engineering.”

A first year apprentice with construction company Brierty, Keaton King, said learning to use the heavy machinery would assist him to build his skills to become a junior operator.

“I started off as a labourer and now being able to complete this course as part of my apprenticeship I will be able to build my knowledge and practical skills to move up into new roles,” he said.