Pilbara companies unite to boost training opportunities
A new engineering business formed by two established Pilbara companies was launched last month at an event that celebrated the opportunities it could bring for upskilling Aboriginal people and improving locals’ chances of winning major contracts.
KBSSBRIDA was launched at a Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry event, attended by WA Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt, on April 18.
The new venture brings together Karratha business KBSS Engineering and Aboriginal-owned grounds maintenance and cleaning company BRIDA, which have worked closely together for the past six years, into a separate engineering services entity with a focus on providing training opportunities, especially for Aboriginal people.
KBSSBRIDA managing director Cory Byers said bringing the two companies together in a new business would give them a better chance of winning major resource company contracts, while between 10 and 20 per cent of its workforce would be apprentice or trainee positions.
“(BRIDA) want those trades, their people want to get those trades, but they’re not able to offer that on their own,” he said.
“That’s why with us, together, we’ll be able to get those major contracts and then we’ll be able to provide those trades and skillsets and training apprenticeships through those contracts.”
Chairman David Walker said he was proud BRIDA and KBSS had decided to formalise their long-term partnership.
Mr Wyatt congratulated both companies on the venture and especially praised the opportunities it would give Aboriginal people in the community to develop new skills.
“The opportunities that come with giving Aboriginal people the opportunity to train, to skill up, are beyond argument,” he said.
“The social impact... is extraordinary — well beyond simply the economic output that’s created for that job, there’s the impact it has on families, communities and health and other outcomes.”
KBSS ownership is split 50-50 between KBSS and BRIDA.
Its parents companies have and will continue to operate separately.
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