Civil and Commercial construction company ProBuild (NT) Pty Ltd is a company that’s not afraid to do things differently. Whether it’s dropping a pop-up classroom onto a building site or getting a fly-in fly-out training assessor into a remote community, the company’s commitment to training has earned it the Medium Employer of the Year Award at the 2016 Australian Training Awards.
“For us no two jobs are the same and so there can be no ‘one size fits all’ training approach—we have to be innovative and flexible in responding to the diverse needs of our employees, clients and project locations,” said Melissa Sims, ProBuild NT’s Systems Manager. “The Australian Training Awards are recognition of the way we go above and beyond to tailor-make a solution for unique requirements.”
Established in Alice Springs as a family company 24 years ago, ProBuild NT is cementing its reputation as an industry leader and remote area specialist. With a second office in Darwin, the company employs 55 fulltime staff and 40 contractors per job site, with 13 active sites spanning from the SA/NT border all the way to the Top End.
“As so much of our work is in remote locations, what we often do is send a classroom out to the site together with a mentor armed with a suite of tools. When the trainees are ready to be assessed we fly in an RTO representative to conduct the assessments,” said Melissa.
In line with the company’s commitment to ‘buying local’ and developing the community, ProBuild NT’s policy is to employ a minimum of 20 to 30 per cent Indigenous people on all its projects and to encourage the use of subcontractors with Indigenous staff. It also has a policy of employing at least two additional apprentices each year, while supporting existing apprentices.
“A critical point of difference in our approach is our commitment to investing in our people and in the Territory,” said Melissa. “In many remote communities, people are employed just for the short-term. Once the project is finished, the work dries up. Probuild NT takes the opposite approach. Before establishing a training program we consult with relevant stakeholders to create packages that will ensure employees have more long-term sustainable employment outcomes.
“Not only does this benefit our employees individually, but it is also at the heart of our company’s growth. We retain good employees and now when we tender for work we know we have the skilled workforce to be able to do the job. We have proved that we can consistently deliver to the highest standards and our company image has improved dramatically.
“Winning at the Australian Training Awards is recognition of the contribution we have made to so many traineeships, while also acknowledging our investment in our employees, with 100 per cent successful outcomes for all the trainees. It’s fair to say we’ve made a very positive difference to individuals and communities, and that is a tremendously satisfying aspect of our work.”