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Father and son duo dressed in orange high-vis uniforms standing in front of Adelaide Riverbank signage in the daytime.

For father and son, Daniel and Andrew Clarke, gaining work experience with McMahon Services on the Festival Plaza redevelopment is a life changing opportunity.

This has been made possible through Renewal SA’s training and employment initiative, the Works Program.

Renewal SA Works Program provides work experience and employment opportunities giving local unemployed people with opportunities to experience an industry first-hand, and in many instances gain employment for the contract duration.

The Festival Plaza redevelopment construction site is an example of the kinds of construction industry live site opportunities available through the Works Program.

Earlier this month, Daniel and Andrew commenced work experience placements with McMahon Services for its contract on the Festival Plaza redevelopment carrying out demolition works.

The father and son duo have been giving the work experience placement their all.

Gaining work experience has been fundamental to father Daniel upskilling to enter back into the workforce.

“It’s been great to get my hands dirty to build from scratch, and watch something being built in front of my eyes,” Daniel says.

“It’s been great to be a part of a team on such a big project and make it happen.”

Son Andrew, who is new to the workforce, has gained a lot of experience through this work experience placement.

“I have learnt a lot on site, and have enjoyed working with my dad – not many people are able to do that,” Andrew says.

“This opportunity has given [us] something to make us feel good about ourselves, and we really appreciate it.”

McMahon Services Project Manager and Works Program Supervisor, Willie Frith, was very impressed with Daniel and Andrew.

“Both showed great energy and enthusiasm right from day one,” Willie says.

“They asked a lot of questions and were very keen to learn as much as possible – this is a great sign of a good worker.”

Daniel and Andrew graduated in May from the NorthHub Aboriginal Pre-employment program, each gaining a Certificate II in Civil Construction with Carey Training.

Renewal SA’s Training and Employment Initiatives Manager, Samantha Wilson outlines the program:

“The Works Program is Renewal SA’s training and employment initiative, which was established to maximise the community and social inclusion benefits from our urban renewal projects,” Samantha says.

“Participants like Daniel and Andrew are hand-picked from our live training projects. These partnership programs are where participants gain hands on experience working on real community projects and develop their employability skills. They are perfect candidates to refer to our Renewal SA contractors to fulfil their commitment to economic development.”

With projects in Playford Alive, Bowden, Port Adelaide, Woodville West, Tonsley and the Adelaide Riverbank – among several others – Renewal SA Works Program has a widespread and ongoing influence in the urban renewal of Adelaide.

Since 2008, the Works Program has provided 540 work experience opportunities and 247 paid employment positions in Renewal SA managed contracts.

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