Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Light rail in Canberra to create 3500 jobs

The ACT Government commissioned Ernst and Young to review the Capital Metro project and its impact upon employment. The report has good news for job seekers.

The Canberra Times report:

The light rail project will deliver 3560 jobs during the three years of construction, a jobs analysis has found, as the ACT government reveals another spin-off of the project - new training courses in the city for tram drivers, rail maintenance workers and others employed on Canberra's newest mode of transport.
Of the jobs in the construction years - 2017 to 2019 - 1450 are direct jobs on the Gungahlin to city tram line, with the peak in 2017.
Ongoing, 55 people will be needed to operate the tram line.
The Ernst and Young report makes a startling prediction for overall jobs brought to the city by light rail, predicting a "footprint" of 50,000 jobs by 2049 when the corridor is a hive of economic activity.
Jobs will peak in 2017, when the project will bring 960 new "achievable" jobs working on light rail itself, most of them on building the line. Once built, the jobs on the line fall away, but other jobs are created as a result of development in the corridor in the following years. In 2022, 75 people will be employed on light rail, 55 operating the line. But another 560 people will be in work as a result of development in the corridor.
The report points out that many of the net “achievable” new jobs during construction are relatively low skilled, which will help the problem of unemployment among young people and indigenous groups. In the ACT, unemployment among people with high school or lower qualifications stands at 4000. The Capital Metro project will need about 500 people in this category in 2017, the report says.
Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell said the report showed the importance of investing in large-scale infrastructure, especially given the economic problems facing the city, and demonstrated the big benefits Capital Metro would bring to the community, in the short and long term.
In a time when many jobs will be lost in the ACT, it is great to see the positive economic injection that Capital Metro will have to the ACT economy in the short and long term,” he said.
"It's certainly very clear that these results would not be able to be delivered if we simply adopted an alternative approach around bus transport."
As well as unskilled workers, the Ernst and Young report predicts significant demand for more engineers, architects and people with higher building qualifications. 
Mr Corbell pointed to high demand for bricklayers, carpenters, joiners and labourers, with flow on jobs in hospitality, retail and other areas.

The full Ernst and Young report can be found here or at the Capital Metro website.

The Canberra Times has coverage here.

For more frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news, please visit our Facebook page 'Light Rail for Canberra'.  

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