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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport & Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Main Roads scholars help tackle construction challenge

    Minister for Transport & Main Roads
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Main Roads scholars help tackle construction challenge

    Ten new cadets will join the class of 2006 at Toowoomba’s new Road Design Training Centre next week (July 24) to help meet the growing demand for skilled road builders right across Queensland.

    Minister for Transport and Main Roads Paul Lucas today said Main Roads and the University of Southern Queensland had teamed up to create a special accelerated training program for its road design cadets.

    Mr Lucas said training centre students will complete an Associate Degree in Engineering (Civil) over a minimum of two years, studying a range of internal and external subjects, and will be instructed in key training programs developed by Main Roads.

    As part of the program, Main Roads will pay HECS fees for each student’s part-time studies.

    “This is about giving smart kids in the smart state a chance to make a real difference,” Mr Lucas said.

    “This centre is a first class learning institution and this is a significant step in strengthening this industry, so there are benefits for Main Roads and the broader industry as well.

    “The Beattie Government is investing major funds in improving Queensland’s road network.

    “But we’ve also got a commitment to improve Queensland's engineering industry.

    “So whether our graduates continue to work for us or whether they apply their skills and knowledge further afield, we're helping build industry capability.”

    Member for Toowoomba North Kerry Shine said the Road Design and Training Centre was a great initiative because it helped provide opportunities for regional students.

    “Main Roads is an important part of communities right across Queensland, and it’s no different here in Toowoomba,” Mr Shine said.

    “This sort of initiative provides a great opportunity for local students.

    “And it has the added advantage of providing skilled workers who can help build better roads for Toowoomba and for Queensland.”

    Mr Lucas said the program allowed graduates to work at an advanced level, early in their professional development.

    “Students receive training and work experience on real-life Main Roads projects and undertake further study at USQ.”

    “After a minimum of two years cadets will graduate with an associate degree in civil engineering and a guaranteed job in a high-demand field.

    “These graduates will leave with skills that will enable them to be productive in road design at an earlier stage than through the existing programs available to them.”

    Mr Lucas said Main Roads was undertaking a number of initiatives around the state to boost professional numbers.

    “Main Roads has increased its intake of apprentices, trainees, cadets and graduates by 126% over the last three years.

    “Some of the apprenticeships on offer are electrical, mechanical, engineering and plant operation. Traineeships include laboratory operations, bitumen specialists, business administration or civil construction.

    “Main Roads currently has 84 scholarship holders – up from 28 just 2 years ago.

    “Scholarships for school leavers and university students, include disciplines such as geology, technology, cartography, electrical and civil engineering.”

    For more information about the Road Design Training Centre contact the Department of Main Roads on (07) 4639 0699, or visit www.thinkdifferent.com.au

    Media inquiries: Robert Hoge 3237 1942