By keeping it local, Lismore City Council helps students on path to employment

Published in the June-July 2017 issue

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Michael Sky at the South Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant.

Lismore City Council has long been committed to ensuring successful tenderers have a focus on local content, and that includes giving local young people better opportunities for future employment.

Michael Sky, 23, a third-year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering student at Southern Cross University, is currently completing a six-week work placement at the $25 million South Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant upgrade.

The placement was a requirement of Stirloch Constructions’ tender conditions and has provided Michael with invaluable experience on a multimillion construction project, making him more attractive to prospective employers post-graduation.

“I’ve really liked being able to do some real work and gain experience,” Michael said.

“It’s fantastic to see all the theoretical stuff I have been learning actually being applied on site. You can read and learn about something, but to understand how it works and is applied in a real-world scenario is really exciting.”

Lismore City Council already has a 20 per cent local content weighting as part of its tender process, and its Investigations Engineer Garon Clough said this was another way the Council can help build jobs for local people.

“We want to support the development of local young people and demonstrate that as an organisation we are keen to help upskill local people so we can employ them in local jobs,” Garon said.

“Placing these students on larger construction projects gives them exposure to engineering experience they wouldn’t normally get straight out of university. This makes them more job ready when they graduate.”

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