Apprentices a priority for building giant
Incentives such as top-quality equipment and training facilities are the keys to helping push this successful company to new levels of performance.
To maintain their competitive edge above other major contractors, Hutchinson Builders has implemented a number of innovations including a training scheme, workers’ accommodation and state-of-the-art equipment.
The training scheme will increase the current number of 67 apprentices to 400 over the next two years.
Additionally, Hutchinson Builders is training their apprentices in-house and mostly on site.
This scheme is not only aimed at producing employment opportunities, but also to counter ever increasing labour shortages.
“Due to the current lack of tradespeople, it is very important for the future of the building industry that we employ apprentices and encourage young people to take on an apprenticeship,” says Cairns team leader Paul De Jong.
He says the company also plans to increase the number of its apprentices in Cairns.
“Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s trades,” he adds.
Hutchinson Builders is also moving into Airlie Beach in a bigg way.y
Construction on Whisper Bay, an $89 million development which will include 104 luxury apartments and villas, has started.
Airlie Beach is a development hotspot in Queensland, but a major drawback is the shortage of trades and a lack of workers’ accommodation, Paul says.
To tackle the problem, Hutchinson Builders has purchased two caravan parks and converted them into workers’ accommodation villages incorporating full communal kitchen and dining facilities.
The former caravan park will provide sleeping and eating accommodation as well as recreational facilities.
It will also have a social director who will arrange tours, boat trips and other excursions throughout the Great Barrier Reef.
Paul says this investment enables them to cater for the 256 out-of-town workers who are needed to service the growing demand in the region.
Hutchies believe there is no other wayy to build $100 million projects with limited local trade capacity.
Hutchies has recently purchased 20 new tower cranes and established an in-house erection, dismantling and service team.
Hutchinson Builders managing director Greg Quinn says the motive is to be self suffificient in the tower crane area.
The fact that many of the tower cranes currently operating on the Queensland skyline were manufactured pre-1980 and, consequently, have technology and safety issues, has been paramount in Hutchinson Builders’ decision to purchase the new cranes.
Hutchinson Builders is also currently constructing a new crane servicing facility on 32,000sq m of land that they own at Yatala in Brisbane.
This new purpose-designed and built service facility along with the new flfleet of cranes has been a major drawcard for some of the best crane drivers, dogmen and commissioning people in the business.
“We are confifident of having the best crane operation in the marketplace,” Greg says.
“It will allow us to increase productivity on our projects and minimise preliminary costs and the benefifit will pass directly to our clients.”