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Man wearing a white hard hat and orange high-vis vest holding a walkie talkie on a construction site.

Following high school Daniel Incorvaia gained employment in the hospitality industry, working part-time at a function centre. But just like his dad, a carpenter, who he’d helped out on occasion, Daniel was more interested in a career as a tradesperson.

“I never wanted to go to uni – I wanted to start working in construction as soon as I left school,” he said.

A family friend working in the civil construction industry told Daniel about the Works Program, which led him to complete a course with Carey Training at Renewal SA’s Port Adelaide Live Training site, where he developed skills in the use of excavators and other machinery.

The Works Program, Renewal SA’s training and employment initiative, creates pathways to employment through education, training and work experience opportunities to maximise the economic development, community participation and social inclusion benefits of the agency’s urban renewal activities.

Partnering with project teams to identify opportunities for work experience and paid employment, while supporting contractors to fulfil their contract requirements through the recruitment and insurance of candidates, the Works Program is helping to ensure Lot Fourteen’s redevelopment works are supporting economic growth and generating job opportunities for South Australians.

The Lot Fourteen ideas and innovation neighbourhood is being developed by the state government on the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital to create a global business location that will foster industry development, research and jobs in technology-driven sectors. Large, obsolete, multi-storey buildings and many associated structures from the former hospital are being demolished, making it one of the biggest demolition projects in South Australia’s history.

When local business Royal Park Salvage was awarded the Lot Fourteen Stage 3B demolition contract in 2019 following a competitive tender process, they were required to offer three work experience placements and one employment outcome per the economic development commitment clause included in the contract.

Despite not knowing much about demolition, thanks to his enthusiasm and experience with excavators Daniel was put forward by the Works Program and chosen to undertake work experience with Royal Park Salvage on the Stage 3B contract.

On site, Daniel quickly learned there is much more involved in demolition and remediation than just knocking down buildings. Thanks to his placement he’s gained knowledge of internal building strip-out and safe removal of hazardous materials, while consolidating his experience in excavation and oxy-cutting.

Just as importantly he has matured and developed transferable skills that are useful in any job and life more generally.

“I’ve learned how to work efficiently, manage my time properly and prioritise tasks,” said Daniel.

Royal Park Salvage Operations Manager, Milan Stancevic, praised Daniel for his dedication to safety, positive attitude, punctuality and ability to pick up new things quickly.

“Daniel’s adaptable and versatile – happy to do anything asked of him. He works well with the rest of the team and is easy to work with. Plus, he’s always the first one here in the morning,” acknowledged supervisor Milan.

Royal Park Salvage was so impressed with Daniel’s capabilities, work ethic and enthusiasm that he was offered a paid position following the end of his work experience placement in May 2019, and has maintained his employment with the company beyond the end of the Stage 3B contract. Since then, Daniel has been involved in housing demolition, including the removal of houses damaged during the recent Kangaroo Island bushfires, giving survivors the opportunity to rebuild.

I definitely see a future here and just want to continue to grow and develop my skills further. Maybe I’ll be a manager one day! - Daniel Incorvaia, Royal Park Salvage

Part of Lot Fourteen’s Northern Zone works, the Stage 3B demolition and remediation project commenced in March 2019 and utilised an all-South-Australian workforce that employed approximately 40 people at the peak of works. Execution was particularly challenging due to the project site’s prominent position on Frome Road, limited available work space and close proximity to neighbours including the University of Adelaide, UniSA and SA Pathology.

The major demolition phase of 3B finished in late 2019 and resulted in removal of the former Adelaide Dental Hospital and the Adelaide Dental School, both of which relocated to the university’s Health and Medical Sciences Building in 2017, becoming part of the Adelaide BioMed City precinct on North Terrace west.

Completion of Stage 3B has paved the way for progress on development of the future International Centre for Food, Hospitality and Tourism Studies. As a fully integrated, world-class learning facility in the heart of Australia’s food and wine capital, the centre will become the destination of choice for those seeking to learn from the best, and graduate with the skills and qualifications to launch a career with the world’s most renowned establishments.

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