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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Convention Centre project kick starts 50 apprentice careers

The 50th apprentice has joined construction crews on the $176 million Cairns Convention Centre expansion and refurbishment project this week.

Minister for Public Works Mick de Brenni said the massive project was offering young North Queenslanders the opportunity to get training on a multi-million-dollar infrastructure work site in their own backyard and decent, secure jobs for local tradies.

“I had the chance to walk around the site with Tim Hehona, the 50th apprentice to join the project,” said Mr de Brenni

“Tim will be starting his apprenticeship with J Bros, the local concreters who were awarded the 100th tender on the $176 million Cairns Convention Centre Expansion and Refurbishment project.

“Supporting infrastructure like this is a key part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19.

“J Bros are well regarded in the concrete game and this opportunity offers Tim to work with some of the best concreters in Far North Queensland.

“They are truly a family company and Tim can lean on the eight brothers that make up J Bros for advice and mentoring.

“J Bros’ crew of 10 concreters will be pouring and spreading the concrete to support the 10,500 square metre expansion which includes placing the concrete in the structural columns, the mezzanine and the Sky Terrace level slabs.”

Mr Hehona, 21, said he couldn’t wait to get firsthand experience working on the multi-million-dollar infrastructure project.

“I always wanted an apprenticeship and it’s good to get on this site especially,” Mr Hehona said. 

“I’m looking forward to learning skills to help my future. 

“It’s a big deal to be building something like this.”

Member for Cairns and Assistant Minister for Tourism Development Michael Healy said Cairns Convention Centre expansion and refurbishment project is investing in training local apprentices to help leave a legacy of more qualified workers in the Far North.

“To date, apprentices have completed more than 22,000 training hours which equates to on average around 11 weeks of training for each apprentice on the project,” he said

“These 50 apprentices form part of 641 local workers that have worked on the project, and 54 local businesses that have benefited through the extended supply chain on the project to date.

“The construction works on the 10,500 square metre expansion are in full swing and are scheduled for completion in December 2022.

“As the expansion works progress there will be even more opportunities for Cairns apprentices in 2021 and 2022.  

“The additional 10,500 square metres will include a large undercover, tropically planted drop-off entry forecourt, an expanded main entry lobby, a 410-seat plenary lecture space, three 120-seat meeting rooms, new exhibition space for up to 30 display booths and 500-seat Sky Terrace with views over Trinity Inlet.”

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