Apprentices on Level Crossing Removal Projects

Mr DIMOPOULOS — The Minister for Training and Skills and I later joined the Minister for Industry and Employment at Carnegie station, where our level crossing works are well underway, to meet some of the apprentices filling the 743 new positions that have been created in just the first year of this government’s major projects skills guarantee. The total number of apprentices expected to work on just the Caulfield–Dandenong crossing removal project is 200. So far this skills guarantee applies to 15 major projects and is expected to rise to 38 projects.

On Thursday I paid a visit to the precast yard in Pakenham, which is an amazing operation. This is a massive factory specifically producing sections for the new railway line in my community that will mean the removal of many dangerous and time-wasting level crossings. We are removing nine crossings on the Cranbourne-Pakenham line. Instead of closing this train line, which is the busiest in Melbourne, for months and months on end to dig a big trench — as proposed by those opposite for this line — we have got an operation where much of the work is done off site and transported in. That is good for the community and good for jobs in Victoria.

I thank the ministers for taking the time to visit my community, and I look forward to seeing even more skilled employment resulting from this government’s initiatives in training and major projects.