A Cert II in Construction drives career pathways for Indigenous students

Hansen Yuncken has partnered with the South Australian Aboriginal Secondary Training Academy (SAASTA), a program run by the South Australian Education Department, and 100% Aboriginal owned Registered Training Organisation, Carey Training to deliver a Certificate II in Construction.

The aim of SAASTA's Vocational Education Training (VET) program is to provide Aboriginal students with skills, capacity and confidence to undertake flexible and traditional trade-based apprenticeships, traineeships or full-time employment.

This year, a group of 14 Aboriginal public and private school students completing years 11 and 12 commenced the Certificate II in Construction, with two students continuing their training remotely from Darwin, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The program is designed to be delivered within existing school terms to ensure students receive the maximum benefit from both the SAASTA Program and school curriculum.

Hansen Yuncken has provided a dedicated, onsite training facility at the Lyell McEwin Hospital Emergency Department Expansion project, providing the optimum platform to gain on site experience. This year’s group of students have commenced refurbishment of this training facility, undertaking hands on practical works building their skillset, confidence and understanding of the construction industry. Next year’s intake of students will complete the refurbishment of the facility throughout the course of the year.

The program has been made possible by support from Group Training Organisations and partners across the industry. The students have been provided real job prospects with two students securing apprenticeships and several more opportunities made available by our industry partners. Students undertook a combination of core and elective modules based on feedback from our industry partners highlighting key skills required. These included:

  • An Industry White Card
  • Elevated Work Platform (EWP) competency
  • Working Safely at Heights
  • Senior First Aid Certificate
  • Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) number
  • Traffic Control

The students also undertook Mates in Construction (MIC) General Awareness Training. A number of speakers were arranged to talk to the group throughout the year including Aboriginal leaders and role models such as Brendan Littlechild, Gavin Wanganeen, Ruby Wilson, Tyrone Hughes and Hansen Yuncken’s Ricky Emili who provided an insight to the industry as an Undergraduate.


The success of the SAASTA Program is the result of extensive industry partnerships, including the following organisations:

Program Partners

  • Carey Training

Training Providers

  • CITB
  • St John
  • Trainee & Apprentice Placement Services Inc (TAPS)
  • National Electrical & Communications Association (NECA)
  • MIC
  • Vocational Training & Employment Centres (VTEC) – Complete Personnel Group
  • Master Builders Association of South Australia
  • MAS National


Contracting Partners

  • NSG Boffa
  • Cushman Wakefield (Smith Brothers Plumbing)
  • O’Connors
  • Outside Ideas
  • Ausco

Click here for more information on the SAASTA Program.

Watch the SAASTA Program in action.