The Northern Road Employment and Training Hub at Penrith has officially opened as part of the Federal and Queensland Government’s $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.

The new hub, delivered in partnership with Lendlease, will train up Western Sydney job seekers to build world-class infrastructure in the region.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, said the purpose-built employment hub is training local jobseekers and placing them into apprenticeships, traineeships and other construction related careers as part of the Australian and NSW Government’s’ 10-year Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, to which the Federal Government is committing $2.9 billion.

“The plan is estimated to support 4,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the various projects, with the new hub part of the $190 million contract to build The Northern Road upgrade from Glenmore Parkway to Jamison Road,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The hub is being delivered in partnership with Lendlease, to provide some of the region’s most vulnerable people with pre-vocational skills, traineeships, internships, trade qualifications and jobs with contractors and subcontractors.

“With this historic investment in infrastructure, it’s critical that a pipeline of skilled people is created to supply current projects and leave a legacy of capable Western Sydney workers ready to tackle future projects.

“So far 910 full time equivalent jobs have been created through the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan with the number expected to grow as work ramps up, so it is vital that training starts now.”

NSW Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said the Employment Hub was working with vocational education providers, including TAFE NSW and government agencies, to deliver the training and jobs to Aboriginal Australians, young people, long-term unemployed and those facing barriers to employment.

“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,” Mr Ayres said.

“Initiatives like this will provide a fresh start for so many people, giving them an opportunity to secure jobs and learn new qualifications while helping deliver projects of long-term benefit to the state.

“Western Sydney is Australia’s third largest economy which is why continued investment is vital to the nation’s economic prosperity.”

NSW Minister for Roads, Melinda Pavey, said future hub graduates represent the next generation of skilled workers who will help to build the future world-class infrastructure needed to keep powering Western Sydney.

“Western Sydney is going through an unprecedented transport infrastructure boom, requiring a diverse range of skillsets to build the projects which will keep the state moving,” Ms Pavey said.

“This investment in Western Sydney is helping to transform the local economy by giving businesses the confidence to invest, expand and create new jobs.

“These projects are critical in linking the South West Priority Growth Area and the North West Priority Growth Area while also supporting the economic benefits from building the Western Sydney Airport.”

Lendlease CEO Engineering and Services, Craig Laslett, said The Northern Road Employment and Training Hub would build on the company’s track record of creating meaningful employment and training opportunities in the construction industry.

“There’s never been a better time to enter the construction industry in NSW. Starting in a new industry can be tough for anyone but The Northern Road Employment and Training Hub will make it easy for newcomers to the industry, providing training, employment and support in a one-stop-shop.”

The Hub will provide pre-vocational skills programs, traineeships, internships and trade qualifications tailored to project jobs with contractors and subcontractors with the potential to extend to other nearby projects as work starts.

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