The Lendlease Atherstone Exchange and Jobs Victoria have joined forces with civil contractor Rokon to find good quality candidates for major construction projects. Natalie Bell is one employee who has benefited from this collaboration, now forging a new career in the construction industry.

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Rokon is one of two principal civil contractors on the Lendlease Communities Atherstone project in Melton. Atherstone is a joint venture between Lendlease and Melton City Council, who are committed to delivering local jobs.

Rokon Area Manager Daniel Ross says he struggles to find good quality candidates to work on the project due to the demand for skills in construction projects across the state. Initiatives such as the Lendlease Atherstone Exchange, launched in 2017, and support from Jobs Victoria, has helped to address this issue.

Natalie Bell

Natalie Bell at work at Rokon with Daniel Ross

The Exchange is a skilling and training ‘one stop shop’ supported by Jobs Victoria, Victoria University, Builders Academy Australia, Proven Training Solutions, Apps Matter, the Melton/Brimbank Local Learning & Employment Network, Western BACE, and employers such as Rokon.  The Exchange addresses skills gaps in the western region and enables people to successfully transition to employment, with a focus on civil construction and building.

The Exchange works with Rokon to identify its employment needs and match these with job-ready candidates through Jobs Victoria Partner west@work. Rokon has employed several Jobs Victoria participants, including Natalie Bell.

Natalie works with Rokon as Plant Operator and has quickly become a highly valued member of the team. Prior to this role Natalie was unemployed for some time, which had an impact on her mental health and confidence. Jobs Victoria Partner Jesuit Social Services supported Natalie with job coaching, building confidence for interviews, transport and clothing and now provides post-placement support. She is thriving in her job and is looking forward to increasing her skills and opportunities in the construction industry.

Daniel Ross says Rokon proud of its dedicated and diverse workforceencourages other employers to engage with Jobs Victoria for their recruitment needs.

“The Lendlease Exchange, in partnership with Jobs Victoria, has provided Rokon the opportunity to source individuals who are trained, job-ready and committed to pursuing a career in civil construction.  We have hired several great candidates through the Exchange, such as Natalie, and look forward to continuing our association to support our future recruitment needs.”

“It’s a win-win for Lendlease and the local community … and we’re getting people who want to work.”

In 2018, the Exchange has supported over 170 local people, including 74 training commencements, and 62 local jobs – 40% of these were Jobs Victoria participants.

Find out more about the Lendlease Exchange

Find out more about Rokon