JOBS UP FOR GRABS: 120 jobs created by solar farm project
A $216 million solar farm project has created more than 120 jobs for people on the Fraser Coast, and the spots are filling fast.
Starting at the end of February, about 126 people will begin construction of the Teebar Clean Energy project; a solar farm run by Australian and international companies.
The solar farm and employment project is a result of two years of work from the Fraser Coast Training Employment Support Service and Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders.
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For Fraser Coast jobseekers like Brett Murray, 32, finding a secure job in the region can be a near-impossible task.
"I moved to Maryborough about two months ago to be closer to my son, and I've been looking [for work] since then," Mr Murray said.
"It's really, really tough out there to find work, but when I saw this, I thought it could be a good opportunity. Plus it's creating clean energy, so my mates will be proud that I'm helping the environment, too."
An information day was held in Maryborough for possible employees to learn more about the jobs on offer.
While TESS had expected about 20 people to attend, more than 50 jobseekers squeezed into a room, desperate to find out more about the jobs up for grabs.
TESS business development manager Lori Keevers said it was "absolutely incredible" to see so many people in one place, showing interest in the work.
Most of the jobs are expected to last between six and nine months, but Mr Saunders says two new, bigger projects run by the same companies will be starting in Maryborough later in the year.
"This is the start," Mr Saunders said.
"What we are doing is modifying the economy; we don't build the trains or ships down at the river like we used to, so we've got to look forward."
Mr Saunders said the energy from the solar panels would go into the power grid, sending electricity to the Wide Bay.
The MP added that the next projects would provide ongoing jobs, beyond the construction stage.
What you need to know about the project
FOR those interested in applying for the construction jobs, you will need to contact Fraser Coast Training Education Support Service (TESS).
At the first session held yesterday organiser Lori Keevers said that all successful applicants would need an up-to-date white card before they could enter the construction site.
A second information session will be held on Monday at the TESS office in Maryborough, located at 21 Rocky St.
Two more sessions have been organised for Tuesday at the Brolga Theatre, you will need to book a spot for all sessions.
Those who are interested are asked to head along to the session with a copy of their current resume.
TESS will be holding training days before work begins, for successful applicants that don't have white cards.
Ms Keevers also said it was important that interested applicants should be familiar with first aid.
Successful applicants will need to be fit to work outdoors, and also be reliable.
"One of the things we heard from this company, from other sites, was that the workers would show up for the first and second day, but not after that," Ms Keevers said.
"I told them that wouldn't happen here."
The jobs are open to applicants of all ages and genders.
For those who are unable to drive to the site, transport will be provided by TESS to and from Teebar.
A bus will pick the employees up from the Maryborough Town Hall at 6am, Monday to Friday.
To contact TESS directly and book a spot at an info session, you can call their office on 4122 4444, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.