Drive to fill 300 jobs

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

LS Precast Benalla’s recruitment roadshow for its ultimate wide-ranging 300 jobs for Melbourne’s $5.5 billion Westgate Tunnel Project by Christmas received good responses from its four information sessions last week.

West Gate Project and LS Precast recruiters met employment seekers throughout the North East and Goulburn Valley last week, with up to three-hour sessions in Shepparton and Euroa on Monday followed by Yarrawonga and Wangaratta on Tuesday. 

About 50 people attended the Shepparton session, 20 were at the Euroa session and over 100 at the last session, in Wangaratta.

Commenting about the Yarrawonga response, LS Precast owner Ashley Day said a lot of interest was shown from the 35 attendees. 

“Nearly everyone filled out a form or resume,” he told the Yarrawonga Chronicle. 

“We’ll read through them, contact them and have an interview as we see fit.

“We’ve got some 300 roles to fill, ranging from steel fixing, concreting and laboring. We’ve got 140 employees and want a total of 300 by Christmas.

“This is a great opportunity for school leavers, especially, to get their foot in the door of the construction and manufacturing industries.”

Presentations, and question and answer sessions took place, followed by afternoon tea/supper with management and recruiters.

A slide show presented to job seekers revealed a wide variety of occupations being sought.

Steel fixers, dogman/riggers, crane operators, concreters, plant operators, labourers among the blue-collar workforce and office-type jobs including clerical, technical and professional on the white-collar side are required.

Established in Murray Road, Benalla some 12 months ago, LS Precast Benalla is the largest precast manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere and is still growing construction-wise.

LS Precast is a locally run and owned business by Mr Day. He is the owner and managing director of LS Quarry Group, an established quarrying and rock crushing company in Lima South, 32kms south of Benalla.

LS Precast specialises in producing high quality precast elements for large high profile infrastructure projects in Victoria.

Its main, and massive job is Melbourne’s $5.5 billion West Gate Tunnel, construction of which began in January 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2022.

The 5km toll road being constructed will link the West Gate Freeway at Yarraville with the Port of Melbourne and CityLink at Docklands via two tunnels beneath Yarraville. It will also provide a much needed second Maribyrnong River crossing.

The facility is capable of producing up to 1800 tonnes of concrete segments per day at peak capacity. About 25,500 tunnel segments will be produced at the Benalla precast facility – about 350,000 tonnes of concrete. 

Examples of the massive 24-hour, seven days a week operation at Benalla were given by presenters. These included 26 cranes inside and outside buildings, loading of trucks day and night, 50 to 60 truck movements transporting the larger concrete segments along the Hume Freeway each day and train movements about every second day carrying the lighter of the heavy concrete segments.

LS Precast and West Gate Project are committed to upskilling and training its workforce with additional training or licenses for the job roles required.

In late 2018, GOTAFE  partnered with LS Precast to upskill new recruits. This has included a pre-employment program and modules towards certificate qualifications.

The big recruitment process is underway, with consideration of applicants for interview.

Judd and Sons of Yarrawonga are playing a small but important part in the enormous Westgate Tunnel Project by supplying quarry product for the concrete mix.