Tradies need a job

APPRENTICE tradies who got hands-on worksite experience on Federal Government Building Education Revolution projects are now in need of work.

Some 30 apprentices on the Mid North Coast, who commenced trades under the two-year economic stimulus project, are now being left without employment, according to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

The union has made approaches to two of the nation’s largest road building companies, Leightons and Abigroup to take-on the apprentices.

That follows calls from major road building companies to import workers from overseas.

CFMEU NSW State Secretary, Mal Tulloch, said apprentices had been left dumbfounded by the claims there was not enough local labour available, as they can’t finish their trades on the North Coast.

“It’s an appalling commitment from these big multi-national construction companies that on two big road projects at Kempsey and Woolgoolga, not one apprentice has been employed,” Mr Tulloch said.

“The CFMEU has demanded that Leightons and Abigroup make a genuine commitment to employ local apprentices on these projects.”

Local union organiser for northern NSW, Jim Hutcheon, said the highway project presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these local apprentices.

“We must ensure local businesses and local workers are supported during construction,” Mr Hutcheon said.

“The union will be meeting with the RTA to negotiate better communications on training regimes in order to address civil sector skills shortages on the North Coast.”

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