A pathway to opportunity

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North East Link is set to create more than 12,000 jobs and our tunnelling partner Spark Consortium is working to help connect Aboriginal people and businesses with jobs on the project. As part of this project, $90M will be spent with Aboriginal businesses and social enterprises, and 10% of labour hours will be delivered by apprentices, trainees and cadets.

Pathway Plumbing is an Aboriginal business, certified by Kinaway, the Victorian Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce. They provide skilled labour to perform plumbing works, gas fitting, installation and servicing of equipment, ranging from small domestic appliances up to major infrastructure works on Tier 1 construction projects.

The business has grown substantially with 9 skilled workers and 6 apprentices as of 2023. Some MTIA projects they have worked on include North East Link, Level Crossing Removal Project and Metro Tunnel.

Pathway Plumbing is providing plumbing services for the North East Link tunnels including installation and maintenance of minor appliances, major works including pipeline installation, mechanical plant equipment installation and de-watering works across the project.

Director of Pathway Plumbing, Ricky Morris, is passionate about creating apprenticeship opportunities for Aboriginal communities.

“To see the commitment from Spark North East Link is great because it allows us to provide on-the-job training for our community to learn in a culturally safe environment."

"Some of our community are the most socially disadvantaged in Victoria, so this provides pathways and opportunities where we can link education to employment and business opportunities for them.”

The engagement on North East Link has provided a stable pipeline of work to support Pathway Plumbing's  current apprentices and enable them to recruit 4 more young Aboriginal apprentices.

One of these apprentices, Jamie, is a young First Nations man who has experienced disadvantage in his past.

He is just a year away from finishing a 4-year apprenticeship with Pathway Plumbing. The stability this has provided has enabled him to purchase his first car and first house, and he also recently welcomed his first child.

In the 2022-23 Financial Year, North East Link engaged 44 Aboriginal businesses and provided 86,000 hours of employment for Aboriginal people.

Watch the short video below to find out more about Jamie and his work with Pathway Plumbing.

North East Link