Seymour Whyte’s Nepean River Bridge team recently hosted 21 students from Springwood High School, showing them the exciting possibilities of a career in construction as part of the Civil Contractors Federation NSW’s Back to School visits program.
Project Manager Greg Anderson said Seymour Whyte was only too willing to support the program and encourage young people to join the industry.
“It’s a very unique job and it would be selfish not to open it up to people who are interested in it, so we do what we can to provide opportunities,” Mr Anderson said of the New South Wales Government’s Nepean River Bridge project.
“We employ quite a few trainees fresh out of school. We’ve had a couple here at any one time on the job that we coach, mentor and guide on their pathway into construction.
“I’ve found that most young people have the right attitude. They don’t say no and their expectations are not fixed, so they’re willing to try anything with a bit of coaching and guidance,” he said.
“They’re really invaluable in delivering a job like this—it’s great having people with that attitude of ‘I’ll give it a crack’.”
The students participated in a workshop, which included having a turn at constructing replicas of the Nepean River Bridge and brainstorming things to consider when constructing a bridge. The project team also shared stories of how they became involved in the industry. The visit was topped off with an up-close tour of the bridge construction site.
Springwood High School Careers Adviser Teresa Noorbergen said the students welcomed the chance to see firsthand the opportunities available in civil construction.
“Access to a functioning worksite is invaluable as a way to introduce students to the world of work, and this visit provided real insight into the many and varied roles and skills of the industry,” she said.
“Students found the mix of presentation, site visit and hands-on activities really engaging, and they loved to hear the stories of how people came to choose this industry as their career.”
The visit to Nepean River Bridge project took the number of students CCF NSW has reached out to past 1300 since the Back to School visits program began in November last year. The program is designed to bring more young people into an industry facing skills and labour shortages.
Students of Springwood High visiting our Nepean River Bridge project, as part of Civil Contractors Federation NSW’s Back to School program
Seymour Whyte Engineer Emerie Anonical presenting the workshop exercise to students
Students working on their bridge model