Newell Highway project powers strong trainee engagement

30 July 2021

The $700 million Newell Highway upgrade program is powering strong engagement with trainees in the construction industry.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said work on 40 new overtaking lines, which is jointly funded by the Federal and NSW Governments is leading to more trainees looking to further their skills.

“Federal and state stimulus funding has provided a boost for the construction industry and this has seen an increase in the demand for skilled resources,” Ms Cooke said.

“This critical regional road project is not only driving jobs, by helping to secure and develop workers in the construction industry, but it is also supporting the quick and efficient delivery of these overtaking lanes and safety upgrades.”

Ms Cooke said significant progress on the highway upgrade is being made, with safety improvement work completed four weeks ahead of schedule, and work on the northbound and southbound overtaking lanes at Landervale now also complete.

“After seven months of hard work, it is great to see these two new overtaking lanes, about 21 kilometres south of Ardlethan, up and running. It also means 21 of the 40 overtaking lanes are now complete.”

“The crew who worked on Landervale will now head north to Alleena, about 20 kilometres south of West Wyalong, where they will start safety improvement work to widen the road shoulders and centreline, install rumble strips and potentially, another pair of overtaking lanes.

“Having trainees being able to contribute to a project such as the Newell Highway upgrade, at the same time as building their skills set and further their careers, is a real win-win situation, and a huge boost to the skill base for regional NSW.”

One of those trainees, Nattakrit Taranawiwat, said the chance to work on such a large infrastructure project and refine his skills is what drew him to apply to be a trainee.

“Although I’ve been working in construction for about 15 years now, this is a great opportunity to recognise my skills and get expertise in new areas,” Mr Taranawiwat said.

“The whole experience so far has been a highlight – I love working with everyone in the crew, while expanding my abilities and providing security for my family.”

To date, the Newell Highway project has provided employment for nine trainees, coming through various labour hire providers.

For more information on the Newell Highway overtaking lanes, go to: Newell Highway project page.

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