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Innovative Industrial Services Pathway training launched in WA

REMONDIS Australia // 12 July 2024


Gnalla Enviro and REMONDIS closely collaborate to provide waste management services in WA


Gnalla Biddi is Gnalla Enviro’s innovative training program for long-term unemployed and Indigenous workers


The inaugural Industrial Services Pathway training program commenced 1 July, based at REMONDIS’s liquid waste management facility at Henderson, WA


Skilled staff can be challenging to find, and the industrial services sector of the waste management industry is feeling the pinch.

REMONDIS Australia’s Steve Tunbridge has more than enough work to employ another half a dozen workers right now at the company’s specialised liquid processing plant at Henderson, south of Perth.

With competition from FIFO employers and an industry-wide skills shortage to grapple with, Steve turned to long-time collaborator Gnalla Enviro with an idea: train our own workers, from scratch.

The result is the Industrial Services Pathway program – a brand new, three-week, full-time training program which launched with 10 participants on 1 July.

The Industrial Services Pathway program is the second program developed and run through Gnalla Biddi – Gnalla Enviro’s specialised training arm. ‘Biddi’ means ‘pathway’ in the Noongar language, and that’s what it is – a pathway for Indigenous or disadvantaged workers into the workforce.

Workskil Australia had no problems finding candidates for the program, with nine men and one woman selected to participate. All have experienced some disadvantage, but – to quote Gnalla’s Jason Collard – “just needed a break and an opportunity to get going again.”

Guaranteed work

One of the unique features of this program is guaranteed work for participants who complete the course and achieve their licenses. It’s a transformative program, with wins for both the workers and the industry at large.

The three-week program started with training in White Card, Elevated Work Platform (EWP) and forklift operation. It’s an intensive program, hands-on and workplace-based, equipping participants with the skills they need to become fully qualified industrial service operators.

The tickets and licenses included in the program are:

  • White Card
  • First Aid
  • High Pressure Water Jetting (HPWJ) Assistant – MSMSS00017
  • Drain Cleaning – MSMSS00019
  • Vacuum Loading – MSMSS00020
  • Elevated Work Platform (EWP) – TLILIC0005
  • Forklift – TLILIC0003
  • Working at Heights – RIIWHSE204E
  • Confined Space – RIIWHS202E
  • Gas Testing – MSMWHS2017
  • Excavator – RIIMPO301E
  • Skid Steer – RIIMPO318F

At the end of the 13 day intensive program, participants will also undertake their Heavy Rigid (HR) truck license.

The training doesn’t stop there. Once employed, trainees are buddied up with experienced operators to learn the trade, task by task, and to be set up for long-term success. The first 12 months on the job will be managed so that these workers are ready to go for their full operator’s license, with enough hours for competency and compliance. 

“We’re training people for their benefit, and for our benefit, and also for the industry as a whole. We need more skilled workers across the industrial services sector – so if you can’t find them, you’ve got to invest in making them,” says Steve Tunbridge.

At the end of this innovative program, there's plenty of work waiting for trained hands – plus a warm welcome to the industry from the teams at Gnalla and REMONDIS.

Graduated and ready to work

All 10 candidates completed the 3 week intensive program, graduating with cheers and smiles all around. These new additions to the industrial service workforce will undertake their HR license tests in the coming weeks and, in the meantime, are already on the job with REMONDIS – with hands on the tools from 22 July. 

Steve Tunbridge reflected on the success of the three week program, saying "What I really appreciated was seeing how quickly they formed friendships and made themselves into a team, helping each other through the training.

"I'm going to enjoy working with this enthusastic crew."

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