School students gain skills from Bonnyrigg urban renewal

Eleven students from Bonnyrigg High School have experienced first-hand the transformation of the Bonnyrigg housing estate by spending a week working on several construction sites in the suburb.

Landcom has partnered with the Department of Education on its HSC Vocational Education and Training construction course to enable students in Years 11 and 12 to undertake their mandatory work placement to help them gain new skills and prepare them for the workforce.

Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said this initiative would provide valuable jobs in Australia’s largest industry.

“NSW is experiencing a construction boom at the moment and we need young people to take up a trade so that we can continue to provide essential infrastructure now and into the future,” Mr Roberts said.

“This great initiative will provide more jobs for young people in Western Sydney and ensure they receive the training they need and address the skills shortage now being experienced by the sector.”

Landcom Chief Executive Officer John Brogden said the pilot project at Landcom and Land and Housing Corporation’s Newleaf urban renewal project at Bonnyrigg enabled students to complete 70 hours of workplace training as part of their HSC Construction course.

“Landcom’s Research and Learning program aims to foster lifelong learning, and we provide learning opportunities for students from primary, high school, vocational to university level,” Mr Brogden said.

“Our Sustainability Strategy also has a strong focus on social sustainability through delivering world-class, liveable places founded on equity, affordability and inclusion.

“Landcom is working with the Land and Housing Corporation on a number of urban renewal projects to provide a mix of new social and private housing, including Newleaf at Bonnyrigg, Hillcroft at Claymore and Newbrook at Airds and Bradbury, near Campbelltown.

“These projects leave a lasting legacy that will benefit residents by giving them the skills they need to find employment.

“Earlier this year, we successfully piloted the Skills Exchange program at Claymore, which saw 10 students participate in an eight-week training course to gain a Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation, which included practical work experience on-site.

“The Department of Education’s VET in Schools program is the next logical partnership for Landcom, as we have a number of construction sites around Sydney that can provide students with hands-on experience, which will help inform their career choices and increase their chances of getting a job once they finish school.”

Ten of the 11 students participating in the pilot were boys and one was a girl.  They had the opportunity to put into practice skills learned in the classroom, such as concreting, carpentry, bricklaying and using power tools.  They completed their work experience with Western Sydney companies Westbury Constructions; ADR Construction; and Mono Constructions.

Landcom is exploring options to expand the VET in Schools program to other projects.

The Newleaf project will transform the existing public housing estate into a master planned community with about 2,500 new dwellings.  Stage 4 is almost complete and Stage 5 is now selling.

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