Dubbo’s soon-to-be-completed train maintenance facility, which will help service a new fleet of 29 trains, is already creating significant employment opportunities for those residing in the Central West area of New South Wales.
The Mindyarra facility is expected to help service a new fleet as part of the new South Wales Regional Rail Project, with nearly 60 local businesses currently involved in the creation of the 25ha facility.
The facility is also supporting a job readiness program with an 85 per cent completion rate among Indigenous Australians.
The key focus of the program includes Indigenous Australian participation, with around 15 per cent of individuals living in the region identifying as Aboriginal. There are also 19 registered Indigenous businesses that have won contracts to work on the Dubbo site.
Transport for NSW’s Senior Manager of Social Procurement and Workforce Development, Maxine Greenfield, said there have already been many great achievements within this project.
“This includes two pre-employment programs, where we’ve been able to achieve an 85 per cent completion rate by Aboriginal participants. Many have gained employment either on the project or with local business,” Ms Greenfield said.
The Regional Rail Project’s Jobs, Skills and Industry Participation (JSIP) program aims to provide employment opportunities such as roles for apprentices, trainees, graduate placements and work experience opportunities.
Over 400 workers have currently been involved in the construction of the Mindyarra site from all around, such as workers from Dubbo, Wellington, Narromine, Gilgandra and other regional locations.
Ms Greenfield said that a second school-based traineeship program will shortly be introduced under the JSIP program, which will aim to increase confidence in highschool students.
“It will focus on building the confidence, skills and abilities of Year 10 and 11 students to create a career pathway into construction and infrastructure as a whole,” Ms Greenfield said.
Director of Fletchers International – a Dubbo based manufacturing company – Roger Fletcher, said that the Mindyarra Maintence Centre will help economically benefit the local businesses and those seeking jobs.
“This facility is always going to employ people to do a lot of different jobs that’s very different to what’s normally needed in Dubbo. This is very meaningful for people who want jobs.
“When we first came here, there weren’t many major businesses. Now it’s different, this is a great new facility and as the saying goes – from little things, big things grow,” Mr Fletcher said.
Wiradjuri woman Kelly Powell is a testament to the program’s early success, becoming a leading hand with CPB Contractors, the company building the Mindyarra Maintence Centre.
“I started as a labourer, then was a Roller Operator. Over time, I was offered training for different tickets from the digger, skid steer (bobcat), moxie, telehandler and excavator,” Ms Powell said.
“Now I have a crew of guys that work under me, and I’m excited to bring another female to the site, teach her everything I know, and bring her up in the industry.”