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Keeping it local helps students on path to employment

SCU student Michael Sky onsite at the South Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant, which is undergoing a $25 million upgrade. Image provided by Lismore City Council

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

The placement was required as part 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% local content weighting as part of its tender process, and Investigations Engineer Garon Clough said this was another way Council could 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.”

Source: Lismore City Council

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