Community-driven housing schemes are not new – but getting the model right so that it is able to be used in a variety of regions across Australia to employ apprentices and trainees, requires partnerships with synergistic organisations.
MEGT partnered with Stocklands and Porter Davis Homes to pilot a model that would generate employment opportunities for apprentices and trainees.
Fifteen apprentices and trainees have been employed by MEGT and placed with KPMG, Middendorp Electrics, Stocklands, Porter Davis Homes and Ray White Cranbourne real estate; with more trainees still to be employed for the financial services businesses connected to the estate. It is the wide range of skills that makes this project scalable. Estate building projects cycle tradespeople from house to house. That means only a handful of tradespeople are needed in building a large number of houses. It is when you combine all the industries involved in an estate, that employment for locals becomes sustainable after the houses have been built.
The project also sets a benchmark for affordable environmental advances in housing construction for the future, using best practice in the use of solar hot water, recycled water for gardens and the fit-out of smart wiring.
The sale of the houses in December 2011 was therefore not the end of employment opportunities for the community. MEGT also assisted our electrical apprentice, Michael Belli in purchasing his first home from the estate. In 2012 MEGT is reviewing the way forward. What were the learnings? What could we do better? Where should we take the model next?