If you’re worried about a crashing building market, don’t
Construction work ground to a halt this week creating financial uncertainty from many across the industry

Amid the bad news, Aussie solar energy provider Autonomous Energy (AE) went into administration last week, after being caught up in a $400 million dollar fraud scandal involving iuigis chief executive Bill Papas and his conglomerate, Forum Group. But chief executive Matthew Linney told The Fifth Estate the news of its demise had been grossly exaggerated. See the full story here

Construction grinds to a halt under lockdown

In more bad news thanks to the little covid blighter the massive construction industry in NSW has been brought to a standstill. 

Following a change to COVID-19 rules in Sydney that saw work halted on construction sites, construction workers union, the CFMEU, said it was looking to ensure the hundreds of thousands of affected workers receive financial support. 

CFMEU NSW Secretary, Darren Greenfield said his organisation and the “wider industry” had been fighting to keep construction operating during the lockdown, with Covid safety measures in place. 

“Despite this work the NSW government has decided to completely shut down the entire construction industry in Sydney without notice,” he said. 

“The union is prioritising securing payment to contractors and workers’ wages for last week and to ensure they can access appropriate entitlements to support them over the coming weeks.”

Job Movements 

Among some of the more intriguing job hire news we’ve come across is a call from Transport for NSW for “hundreds”, yes “hundreds” of people who work in IT.

According to a media statement, NSW Secretary Rob Sharp, said he was interested in “IT professionals of all disciplines and levels across the state”. Presumably they have to be local because of travel restrictions that look like dragging on much longer than any of us have patience for. 

These sought after people will have the chance to work in “teams and projects utilising technologies that are making huge leaps forward, using bots, apps, AI solutions, autonomous 3D mapping drones, cyber security and transforming cameras across the network”.

The jobs are available in the metro area and regions.

But why the big appetite? We know the transport department has been hiring lately, pulling in executives from other government departments, hiring externally, but the clue for the IT callout is in the cyber security element mentioned above. There are other digital needs of course, given the scale of projecta underway in Sydney, such as the metros and under harbour tunnels and so on, but globally cyber attacks are a growing pain thorn in a smooth running public transport system that has to be deal with, according to observers.

A search around the IT media confirmed

“We really encourage anyone with an interest in this field to throw their hat in the ring. There has been a 500 per cent increase in training budgets for IT alone and at least 40 per cent of IT jobs don’t require a degree. This is about finding people from all walks of life that are eager to learn in the seat,” said Mr Sharp.

“This is a really exciting time to be working with Transport for NSW. At the moment we are just scratching the surface in how we are pioneering technology to deliver smart, innovative solutions that enable our people to make NSW a better place to live, work and visit. 

“If you have a passion for technology, we’re ready to help you develop the skills you need for a long and rewarding career in IT.”

Group Chief Information Officer at Transport for NSW, Richard Host said “We are looking for people with passion for solving problems, working with people, and for technology. You don’t need the typical IT career trajectory to apply.”

According to IT media sources the NSW Audit Office has uncovered a number of “significant cyber security vulnerabilities at Transport for NSW and Sydney Trains that were previously undetected”.

The audit found that while TfNSW and Sydney Trains’ were “partially effective” at identifying cyber security risks, they failed to pinpoint all of the risk that were detected during the audit, IT News said last week.

Auditor-general Margaret Crawford said she would not release details since all the vulnerabilities had yet to be identified and remediated.

“The audit also drew particular attention to the fact neither agency is implementing regular cyber security education for employees and contractors, despite this being a requirement.”

Other staff picked up in the recruitment drive will likely be deployed to the “Sydney coordinated adaptive traffic system (SCATS) after the agency ditched its commercialisation plans,” IT News said in another article.

TfNSW secretary Rob Sharp told the publication, “We really encourage anyone with an interest in this field to throw their hat in the ring,

“There has been a 500 per cent increase in training budgets for IT alone and at least 40 per cent of IT jobs don’t require a degree.”

In design land

Aussie architects DesignInc have doubled their Melbourne leadership base with two new principals and three senior associate positions. 

All of the appointments were internal and part of a long term strategy by the company to create better opportunities for career progression for its staff. 

The two new principals are Jane Sayers and Kieran Leong, while those in the new senior associate positions are Cameron Smith, Michelle Harris, and Simon McKeown

“Despite Covid, 2020-2021 has been very busy at DesignInc. Our plans are taking shape to build the momentum of our practice as we work toward our vision to create Australia’s healthiest buildings,” the company’s directors said in a joint statement.

Meanwhile, still in the architecture game, Sydney-based firm BLP (Billard Leece Partnership) has appointed Steve Trevenar to the newly created role of  executive delivery lead. 

Trevenar has spent the past 26 years at Lendlease, during which time he has overseen the development of several large infrastructure projects across healthcare, education and public infrastructure.

Also on BLP’s executive team is executive design lead, Tonya Hinde, who said, “with Steve on the executive team there is the opportunity to take design and best practice delivery to another level.” 

“As architecture is paramount to what we do, so to is the way in which we deliver projects and with Steve’s understanding of process and his experience we can undoubtedly enhance and add value to all our projects.” 

Our pick of the jobs

With sustainability pervading deeper into the finance sector by the week, there’s more demand than ever from Aussie to see out to see their savings and investments making a positive impact in the world. 

Beyond Bank, which employs over 600 people in Australia, is B Corp certified and entirely customer owned, is seeking a sustainability specialist to collect collating, analysing and report on the company’s sustainability impact data

You will be reporting to sustainability manager Kate Carroll who has a wealth of experience having spent around a decade advising BHP on their environmental impact. 

Elsewhere, the Pilbara Shire is looking for a waste sustainability officer based in the WA mining town of Newman. 

The role involves assisting in the effective planning, development, implementation, delivery, monitoring and promotion of waste services while incorporating sustainability principles.

With Newman located over 1000 kilometres north of Perth and largely populated by those in the mining business, this role may not be for everybody, but the opportunity is there to be on the ground as the town expands. 

The shire is looking to transform Newman from a resource town of 8000 people into a subregional centre catering for 15,000 permanent residents.

Please send your jobs tips to duncan@thefifthestate.com.au

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