Icon-Reeves International has been working with the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) to deliver training for over 600 Ni-Vanuatu workers engaged in the Cook and Tiroas redevelopment project under the Vanuatu - Australian Defence Cooperation Program since 2021.
Icon and Reeves International are the head contractors supporting the delivery of joint Australia-Vanuatu infrastructure projects, including the redevelopment of the Cook and Tiroas Barracks for the Vanuatu Mobile Force.
The APTC and Icon-Reeves partnership in Vanuatu focuses on developing the skills of the Icon-Reeves workforce, supporting the employment of APTC graduates and strengthening connections with the national TVET sector.
To ensure workers meet the job requirements of working safely on the construction sites, APTC has delivered the ‘Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry’ (CPCCWHS1001) training to more than 30 cohorts of 20 people per cohort.
The one-day training program helped construction workers become aware of health and safety requirements in order to work safely and prevent injury or harm to themselves and others.
Reeves Operations Manager, David Fair said the collaboration with APTC emphasises the importance of investing in skills development. Safety and leadership are fundamental skills in the construction sector. The achievement of outcomes in these initiatives will contribute to a prosperous sector driven by a productive, skilled and safe workforce.
APTC Country Director for Vanuatu and Nauru, Nicholas Venables said the partnership has not only equipped workers with the necessary skills but also promoted a culture of safety and professionalism in construction sites.
“The training highlights the value Icon-Reeves puts on the safety of workers on its job sites. It also ensures that their workers have increased skills and knowledge through Australian accredited courses to contribute effectively to the project's success,” he added.
In addition to the safety training, APTC has also delivered other training programs for Icon-Reeves’ workers, including Carpentry, Plumbing, Team Leader Skill Set, Working Safely at Heights, and Erect and Dismantle Restricted Height Scaffolding.
APTC Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30211) graduate, Edwin Sipiti, who works as a carpenter for Icon-Reeves, says that the training helped him value the importance of personal protective equipment used for construction work and to be more aware of safety at all times.
“APTC has been instrumental in shaping my career as a carpenter. Working on the Icon-Reeves project has enabled me to gain new skills and knowledge about reporting common construction hazards, understanding basic risk control measures, and identifying procedures for responding to potential incidents and emergencies,” he added.
Luciana Meltride, employed by an Australian plumbing company, Beavis and Bartels, shared that the safety training increased her awareness of the importance of promoting a safer work environment, helping to reduce accidents and injuries, and ensuring compliance with regulations.
“As the only female worker with Beavis and Bartels, involved in the infrastructure project, I have realised the importance of being cautious and vigilant. I appreciate the need for wearing masks, glasses, ear protection, and gloves to mitigate risks and prevent accidents at my job site," she said.