Indigenous construction workers gain start through CDU 


A new training strategy at Charles Darwin University is opening doors into the Alice Springs construction industry for Indigenous people.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Community and Access, Don Zoellner said that six of the eight Indigenous students who had completed the Alice Springs Construction Project had gained work.

“This success rate is quite extraordinary,” Mr Zoellner said.

He said that at the heart of the employment success rate was CDU’s recognition that it needed to broker relationships with industry and Jobs Network Providers such as the Tangentyere Job Shop.

“CDU had received funding from the Commonwealth and NT governments to train Indigenous people, with a priority of jobs at the end of the training. And that’s been the outcome.”

Companies which have employed the students included Niland Constructions and Murray River North.

The students began training on 30 April in the classroom as well as on-site with local construction companies.

“One of the big differences with this training strategy was intensive mentoring on the job,” he said.

Students also received support in moving from long-term unemployment to ongoing full-time work.

“This is an outstanding example of how the University is repositioning its offerings to match industry needs and the learning needs of the students.”

He also commended employers on their willingness to employ local labour.

“This outcome reflects a better alignment of training and student backgrounds and demonstrates how CDU is responding to a major community need,” Mr Zoellner said.

“We are already being asked when the next intake is scheduled and are planning accordingly,” he said.