Long-term unemployed find work through Adani

LONG-term unemployed people in Townsville could soon be working on the Adani rail line.

Under a State Government-funded program, Energy Skills Queensland and CERT Training are providing Certificate II courses in rail infrastructure at the Townsville Business Development Centre.

Adani, which is developing a 200km line from its Galilee Basin Carmichael coal mine, is also supporting the training.

So far about 20 people have graduated in Townsville.

The centre's acting manager, Mark Rushbrook, said infrastructure projects like Adani's rail project and upgrades to the Mount Isa line were providing big opportunities for work.

But a lack of skills among people here is a major hurdle.

"Energy Skills Queensland came to us looking for somewhere the run the course. We did our investigations and saw the value of it and what it can do for long-term unemployed. there's a massive opportunity in it," Mr Rushbrook said.

Adani representatives are providing mentoring to trainees.

"We are committed to supporting indigenous people with training and employment opportunities, and in particular, our traditional owners," an Adani spokesman said.

The company has committed to a minimum $7.5 million spend on indigenous education bursaries and pre-employment programs, a minimum 7.5% indigenous employment target

and minimum $250 million spend in indigenous contracting and business development.

Energy Skills Queensland program manager, workforce skilling, Sebastian Ross-Hagebaum said the Townsville graduates were now better placed to gain work in the rail industry.

"This program is aimed at providing disadvantaged jobseekers with a pathway to employment through training they otherwise might not have access to, as well as being part of Energy Skills Queensland's overall focus on addressing skill supply issues," Mr Ross-Hagebaum said

"There are critical shortages occurring in technical trades to the point where the number of new entrants into the industry is barely keeping up with industry attrition rates."

Mr Rushbrook said local business Wulguru Steel had supported the centre by donating materials to install rail for the course.

Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said the program was funded by the State Government's $240 million Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

"We need to keep ensuring everyone has the opportunity to gain employment," he said.