Last Friday, 10 ready-to-work men took their final step towards a brighter future at East Kimberley Job Pathways in Warmun.
After completing 13 tough weeks of training, the men earned a Certificate III in Civil Construction Factory Operations, a course that makes them usable in a number of areas of civil construction.
John Bongiorno, operations manager for the program’s community development program, says he is incredibly proud of this year’s graduates, who persevered despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“It’s long, you know. It’s not just a two or three week course. And then we took a break on COVID. So to be able to push through is a pretty big thing,” he said.
The Djeringo training program, coordinated by East Kimberley Job Pathways, is designed to meet the needs of industry, while providing jobs for job seekers in the Kimberley region.
“We look at what the labor market wants and the labor market wants from people working on the roads and machine operators,” Bongiorno said.
Throughout their training, participants acquired practical knowledge and skills in civil construction and mining work, learning a range of work skills such as how to operate machinery, operate equipment and tools, read blueprints and take measurements.
Part of their training also includes repairing roads in communities around the East Kimberley.
“They made potholes and they did some work on the road to the cemetery,” he said. “So that’s another part of it – in conjunction with the course, you’re doing a job to help the community.”
Mr. Bongiorno attributes the success of the program to the Djaringo trainers, who encouraged the students to persevere.
“They are Indigenous owned and operated, so they have an Indigenous instructor, which is always good when the majority of the students are Indigenous,” he said. “So I think that’s why we’ve retained so many – I think it helps to have that connection.
“During the course, we encouraged people to show up – like vouchers and stuff for the local store – to encourage them to keep going.”
The next course will last 16 weeks and will start on June 20.