CPB Contractors, as part of the Momentum Trains consortium with CAF and UGL, is delivering the Regional Rail Project in New South Wales. CPB Contractors is constructing a rail maintenance centre in Dubbo. CPB’s Jobs, Skills and Industry Participation (JSIP) Manager, Erifili Davis, spoke about the difference her work is making.
“I’ve lived in Dubbo for 17 years and while it is a big regional centre, it is also a close-knit community. Local knowledge and relationships are important here.
“We’ve had around 300 people work on this project, and we’ve had approximately 100 participants undertake workforce training to increase their skills and capabilities. It’s good that we’ve upskilled so many local people because it benefits our project and prepares them for their next job.
“Working together with Transport for NSW and Momentum Trains consortium, we’ve run two pre-employment programs for people who have been unemployed, sometimes long-term, or who have been working casually and were looking for more stable employment. These programs are valuable because if you have been out of a job for a while, it can be difficult to get back into the rhythm of work.
“These programs target entry-level opportunities in the infrastructure industry. The idea is to get people skilled in areas that potential employers need. We design the training program to match the desired job outcomes.
“The programs also help build support networks that someone starting out might not have. So, for example, if they need a lift one morning, they know they only have to ask.
“I’m proud of the opportunities the project is creating for local people. We’ve had some very positive outcomes with people saying the training, and then getting a job, has changed their lives. People are grateful for the opportunity and proud of what they have achieved.
“One thing I’ve learnt is that while it is important to set standards, it’s also important to have some flexibility. The training is standardised, but you also respect each person as an individual and ensure you are meeting their needs.
“We have a terrific procurement and construction team that cares about social outcomes. Working in a company that wants to make these things succeed makes a huge difference.
“I get a lot of satisfaction from my work because I know it is all positive for Dubbo.”