Canberra, Australia:

Multiplex today officially opened the Canberra Connectivity Centre, a Multiplex initiative to match local job seekers with employment opportunities arising from the Canberra Hospital Expansion project.

The Centre is a physical and virtual space where job seekers, employers, government agencies, training firms and community groups can come together to co-design their own training, employment and support solutions.

It offers job support services, trainee and apprenticeships, business mentoring, and networking opportunities, with a particular emphasis on engaging with disability groups, youth at risk, long term unemployed, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups.

Located in the ACT Government’s Construction Employment Hub in the Woden town centre, the Canberra Connectivity Centre is the 14th Connectivity Centre coordinated by Multiplex in as many years.

“This is a whole-of community response to a local need,” said Multiplex Regional Managing Director David Ghannoum.

“Job seekers need access to sustainable job opportunities and job providers need help connecting with good employers. The Connectivity Centre bridges that gap through cross sector collaboration and a coordinated focus on creating holistic and sustainable change.”

Multiplex Connectivity Centres provide a unique backbone support structure to optimise social procurement opportunities for Multiplex’s supply chain.

Already, the Canberra Centre has placed 15 candidates into apprenticeships and other roles with early works trades on the Canberra Hospital project, including six traineeships with formwork contractor Oakdale.

“Oakdale has been involved with Multiplex Connectivity Centres for over five years and has helped support many candidates through projects in NSW and ACT,” said Mark Gusse, Work Health and Safety Coordinator at Oakdale

“When you meet the candidates at the start of the project and before, the difference in their confidence and the way they go about their day is incredible to witness. It’s been a real joy to see them develop and grow.”

Kristy Masella, the CEO of Aboriginal Employment Strategy who will co-locate at the Centre, said it would create life-changing outcomes for people in Canberra.

“The Connectivity Centre model is next generation thinking, providing a truly holistic service that is unparalleled,” she said.

Multiplex’s unique Connectivity Centre model has been recognised internationally as an evidence-based exemplar of social innovation.

Over 15 years, Multiplex has collaborated with world-leading international scholars and universities and undertaken three prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Federal Grants, to study and refine its approach.

“We know our Connectivity Centres are having an impact - not just on employment but also things like mental health and wellbeing, skills and knowledge, and social interactions. In that way it’s building community resilience too,” said Mr Ghannoum.

“This is not a set and forget scenario. We take seriously our role in creating positive social outcomes in the communities we work in and look forward to continuing that legacy in Canberra.”