John Holland is partnering with Jesuit Social Services on an industry-first employment program to share the benefits of Australia’s $100 billion infrastructure boom.

The Pathways Program is designed to give qualified engineers from migrant and refugee backgrounds the chance to get a foot in the door of the industry.

John Holland placed a diverse mix of 23 candidates across nine Victorian projects. There’s a 50 per cent gender split among the group who represent 13 different countries and specialise in varying areas, including civil, electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering.

Almost half of the group have refugee backgrounds, which means the program is opening doors to some of the most disadvantaged members of the Australian community.

The Pathways program includes:

  • 6-month work placement Certificate IV in WHS will provide a learning opportunity for candidates who have never worked in the industry, a refresher to those that have been out of the industry for an extended period and those that completed their education outside Australia will be able to gain an Australian recognised industry qualification
  • Pre-employment training before commencement on site which covers industry, Australian cultural and leadership training
  • Opportunity to be part of a program that provides professional support through mentoring
  • Opportunity to build confidence and capability over 6-month program with a possibility of permanent employment on completion of program.

When John Holland opened applications in March 2018, it received more than 450 applications from people across the country.

Executive General Manager Vic/Tas/SA and NZ, Trevor Hall, said the partnership shows there is a massive untapped community of engineers in Australia waiting to be given a chance.

“We’re in the midst of Australia’s biggest infrastructure boom and we have an opportunity to make sure as many people as possible can benefit,” Mr Hall said.

“This isn’t just about doing the right thing by the community, it’s a competitive market out there and we’re looking for the best people to join our team. We believe good engineers are already out there – they might just need some extra support to get them in the door and site-ready.”

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