The Palaszczuk Government is set to begin transforming the former QBuild depot in Rockhampton as it prepares to deliver on its promise to boost local tradies skills and jobs.
The 8356 square metre site on North Street will be given a new lease of life as a training and facilities base by the time the first intake of local qualified tradespeople start work in January.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni inspected the depot on Sunday for an update on its recommissioning with Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.
“The Palaszczuk Government is rebuilding QBuild so that this facility will once again become the regional headquarters for plumbing, carpentry, electrical and refrigeration workers and apprentices,” said Mr de Brenni.
“Restarting QBuild will see more first responders able to act quickly and effectively to rebuild and repair our schools, hospitals and social housing impacted by natural disasters.”
Mr O’Rourke said QBuild depot employees would be part of the 3,600 Central Queensland jobs being created from the Palaszczuk Government’s investment into capital works and infrastructure.
“The Palaszczuk Government is building and upgrading hospitals, schools, social housing, police stations and other government facilities – the economy-boosting infrastructure that underpins jobs, growth, investment and prosperity.”
“The North Street depot is currently used for storage after it was decommissioned by the former LNP government when they sacked 1,400 QBuild workers across Queensland.”
Mr O’Rourke said recommissioning will require minor maintenance before the depot is equipped with the necessary tools and hardware to cater for the new QBuild trades team, with a new cohort of local apprentices scheduled to start work by March 2020.
Ms Lauga said that QBuild was historically one of the key trainers of apprentices for the Queensland construction industry.
“We know that the probability of getting a meaningful job is substantially increased if you get a qualification.
“These apprenticeships mean we are working toward meeting the skills needed to build Central Queensland.”
Mr de Brenni said by increasing apprenticeship pathways the Palaszczuk Government was focusing on skilling for the future, along with recently announced Free Apprenticeships for Under 21s program.
“What’s happening in Rockhampton is just the beginning of the Queensland Government’s plan to employ 300 QBuild tradies and apprentices across Queensland over the next three years.
“Rebuilding QBuild will also see former depots reinvigorated at Caboolture, Cairns and Bundaberg.”
Mr de Brenni said the final numbers of trades and apprentice jobs for Rockhampton was yet to be determined, but recruitment for qualified tradespeople would begin shortly.