Young apprentices are gaining valuable career experience on the Drysdale Bypass Project as part of the State Government’s Head Start program.
Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville today met Bellarine Secondary College Year 12 students Shauna Bowen and Harvey Webber, who split their time between the classroom and on the construction site.
Shauna and Harvey at the age of 17 are the youngest employees of construction firm Decmil and will work on the Drysdale Bypass project before moving onto other projects once it is complete later this year, as part of a Certificate III in Civil Construction.
The qualification will help them build specialist skills in road and bridge construction and maintenance, pipe laying and traffic management, which they will put into practice on site.
The students are learning while they earn – they are beginning their apprenticeships with three days at school and two days on site each week, but will eventually attend school once a week and work for four days.
The State Government’s Head Start program began in 2019, with an investment of almost $50 million over four years.
The flexible model allows students to spend more time doing paid, on-the-job training while completing their VCE or VCAL at school – and will deliver about 1700 apprenticeships and traineeships in more than 100 secondary schools in 10 locations across Victoria.
Shauna and Harvey’s classmates are also contributing to the Drysdale Bypass, with Bellarine Secondary College students helping to choose words to be etched into the walls of the pedestrian underpass.
The underpass is currently under construction and will link the township of Drysdale with the education, arts and sporting precinct on Peninsula Drive – providing a welcome boost to safety for students entering the busy area.
The Drysdale Bypass stretches 6km from Jetty Road to the north of Whitcombes Road, and is the biggest road infrastructure project on the Bellarine Peninsula.
The $117 million Drysdale Bypass project is expected to be complete by mid 2020.