Over 50 apprentices helping deliver Kangaroo Point Green Bridge

Over 50 apprentices helping deliver Kangaroo Point Green Bridge
L-R: BESIX Watpac workforce training and development manager Tim Lyne, apprentice Xavier Farrell, graduate safety coordinator Morsal Zamany, and Kangaroo Point Green Bridge project director Rowan Riggall, onsite at the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge project. (Image: BESIX Watpac)

BESIX Watpac has achieved a major milestone in its delivery of the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge, exceeding initial workforce targets with 53 Queenslanders now employed as apprentices on the project.

BESIX Watpac chief executive officer Mark Baker attributed the success of the project, being delivered for Brisbane City Council as part of the Connect Brisbane consortium, largely to the local talent employed to bring the project to life

“The original target for the project was to employ 50 apprentices which was initially seen as a significant challenge,” said Baker. “We’re really pleased that Kangaroo Point Green Bridge will not only be an iconic landmark for Brisbane but will stand as a reminder for the more than 50 apprentices who kick started their career on the project.”

“We believe in building the best across all aspects of our operations, and this includes careers.”

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Lord Mayor of Brisbane Adrian Schrinner said the project will add to Brisbane’s active transport options. “Once complete, the Kangaroo Point Bridge will reduce congestion on our roads and provide faster and more convenient access between the CBD and Kangaroo Point from the eastern and south-eastern suburbs,” said Schrinner.

“The Kangaroo Point Bridge will provide a long-awaited connection between Kangaroo Point and the city, but it has also been a bridge to career development and employment opportunities for young people.”

Xavier Farrell, one of the 53 apprentices involved in the project, said working on the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge was the career start he had been looking for.

“I found out about the opportunity through school and then about a week before I graduated, I got the call that I got the job which I was stoked about,” said Farrell. “It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience being part of and learning from everyone – it’s given me the launching pad I need to be able to look for more work in the future.”

BESIX Watpac workforce training and development manager Tim Lyne said the project’s commitment to fostering employment opportunities and proactively seeking apprentices was instrumental in exceeding the target.

“Supporting local employment opportunities was an important aspect of this project,” said Lyne. “From finding apprentices who were ready to embark on their career, to providing support throughout their journey on the project, BESIX Watpac in partnership with local subcontractors and government have jump-started the careers of so many young people.”

“It’s important our industry and both the training and education sectors work together to make sure the construction industry has the workforce to deliver the pipeline of work coming to market in the next 10 years.

“We also need to focus on all pathways into the industry, from apprenticeships through to the para-professional education route including design, architecture and engineering.

“Helping our clients to establish targets beyond state-based policies at the early stages of a project is where we can make the biggest difference for the community.

“Once we have targets defined, we work closely with training organisations and industry bodies to create employment opportunities on our BESIX Watpac project sites and with our subcontractors.”

BESIX Watpac is also helping to forge career pathways through its Graduate and Early Career Program – a two-year program for emerging professionals to enhance their technical and business capabilities.

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