Ten Moree job seekers now have the training and skills to take advantage of work opportunities that the Inland Rail and Special Activation Precinct will bring to town, as well as the ability to work in agriculture, mining or on roads upgrades thanks to training made possible through a unique collaboration.
The local men took part in a five-day training program last month, run by the civil training operator LDO Group and funded under Training Services NSW's Smart and Skilled initiative, giving them industry-recognised competencies in using machinery including a roller, front-end loader and skid steer.
"If you want to do a job with any of the major contractors or mining, you need these competencies," LDO Group business development manager Rob Walters said.
The week-long training course was a collaboration between Job's Australia's New Careers for Aboriginal People program, Flat Track, LDO Group and other local job active providers.
"We had an idea of the training but we had to find somewhere to run it," Mr Walters said.
"We thought out there was the perfect opportunity for people to gain skills.
"Jobs Australia identified job seekers for the opportunity to work within civil construction to work with the Inland Rail, intermodal hub, Special Activation Precinct, grain and cotton industries, mining and road upgrades.
"The idea is that if they get competencies of machines, it's a pathway into employment."
"These guys are now ready to go," New Careers for Aboriginal People program coordinator Darren Finn added.
One of the participants, Damon Wilde, said the training has given him the opportunity to find work in the mining industry.
"It was great, I loved it," he said.
"I hope to gain my ticket and get a job up at the mines in the Northern Territory. I'll move the kids and family up north."
Mr Wilde was previously unemployed and said he now wants to set a good example for his children.
"This was the biggest head-start of life that I need," he said.
"It's got me off my feet. I've got a little one at home and another on the way."
Jobs Australia Indigenous mentor Tanya Parker said the collaboration between the different services and organisations provides a "magical outcome".
"These guys have got such a sense of pride and achievement in what they've done," she said.
"I also want to recognise Danielle Foster, our senior case manager in Moree who has been instrumental in getting this up and running. The whole Moree team have been great."
During the week, the participants dug-up and flattened the area behind the Flat Track shed and built the road up, which was a win-win for all involved.
Not only were the participants able to gain practical experience, but Flat Track benefited from the improvement to its grounds.
Flat Track's Krist Grasnick was more than happy to host the training, as he said it shows his boys what they can aspire to.
"It can show these young kids that this is what you can achieve," he said.
"Next go around we'll have some of our own young guys that have turned 16 take part in the training."
Mr Walters said the training is something they hope to continue, providing more opportunities for local job seekers.
In the last two weeks, several of the course participants have secured employment as a direct result of the training.
"That is a fantastic outcome for all involved," Mr Walters said.