NSW building boost aimed at social housing

Andi Yu
·2-min read

Social housing tenants will be encouraged to apply for traineeships on social housing construction projects as part of a specially targeted $80 million NSW economic recovery plan.

The state government's latest funding commitment ahead of its 2020/21 budget to be announced on Tuesday will provide for about 300 building trainees to help build new housing in urban and regional areas.

The aim of the initiative is to transition people out of long term welfare via training, trade certification and stable employment.

Social housing tenants will receive text messages from the government next week notifying them of the opportunity.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced the program on Saturday, saying the investment to be delivered by the Land and Housing Corporation and rolled out over four years would provide a "helping hand to young people whose job prospects have been impacted by the COVID-19 downturn".

The plan, which is part of a broader job stimulus strategy, involves construction cadets and mature-aged apprentices being taken on by construction companies to work alongside professional tradespeople to get hands-on experience.

"This investment will provide opportunities for young people to develop strong foundational skills and prepare them for a future career in growing sectors, delivering new housing for those who need it most," Mr Perrottet said.

The program also caters to an increasing demand for skilled apprentices in the NSW construction industry, the government said.

Social housing projects are already underway in the western Sydney suburb of Fairfield and the regional town of Dubbo.

Meanwhile, the NSW government has also announced $50 million in funding for charities and not-for-profit organisations.

The money will provide grants for social sector organisations to modernise, digitise and expand operations.

The government on Saturday also announced $10 million for a specially-equipped ambulance designed to diagnose and treat stroke patients while on-the-move.

An on-board radiographer will relay CT scans from patients in transit to stroke specialists to help determine treatment.