Australia’s economy has undoubtedly experienced lags in production, efficiency and productivity over the last two years. Such is the effect that the pandemic has had on the countries’ top performing industries that a boost is needed in some capacity.
One of the industries that has certainly needed a boost is the building and construction industry. One of the largest in Australia, we rely on a constant stream of large-scale projects being completed to stimulate economic growth, whether they are for public or private use. Many factors have restricted construction from occurring freely. For instance, a shortage in materials has meant longer wait times to procure resources, which delays timelines for expected delivery of construction projects.
Perhaps a more telling result as a consequence of the pandemic has been reduced staff. Safe requirements have meant that less workers are allowed to be on-site at any given point in the working day. For health reasons, this makes perfect sense. However, it has also directly impacted the workflow within construction sites, as well as the time taken to complete different aspects of a construction project. Because there are less people available during the day, specialised roles find it increasingly more difficult to perform their roles as there is less time available for them to complete tasks.
The addition of safe health working conditions brings the question of quality and safety. Are these two components affected in any way? Is there a greater need for them to be fulfilled?
The answer is relatively simple. There is an even stronger need for quality and safety in construction workplaces. If there are less staff on-site, then it is a given that there needs to be more of a focus on ensuring projects are completed to the utmost level of these standards.
Quality and safety is a pillar of the building and construction industry. Without these factors being considered in every project, it has a significant impact on not just daily life but the economy in general as works of construction must be fit for purpose. Every participant in the industry must be aware of these standards, and adhere to them wherever possible.
The earliest, and most important stage of becoming a professional in building and construction is learning about these requirements. To receive a certification that you are trained in quality and safety, you must undertake a construction induction training course, also known as a white card course.
But why should construction professionals complete a white card course? Is there any specific need for it to be done?
A legal requirement
The most obvious reason is that it is a legal requirement that must be fulfilled by all who work in the construction industry who wish to enter a construction site. You cannot legally enter a construction site without a white card. If you do not have a white card and intend to work physically or visit a construction site, it does not make sense to avoid the course, because you will only be hampering your career.
A white card can be obtained by completing the construction induction training course with a registered training organisation (RTO). RTO’s provide vocational education and training services. To be an RTO, an organisation must be legally recognised by the appropriate regulators so that they can provide training and qualifications. WorkSafe Victoria, a statutory authority of the Victorian Government and the primary body for managing and enforcing workplace safety, outlines every registered training organisation that you can complete a white card training course with on their website.
If you complete the white card course through an organisation not registered with WorkSafe Victoria, you will not be issued a white card.
Learn how to be safe
Another reason why it is important to complete the white card course is that you will learn and come to understand how to best mitigate risks in the workplace. Whilst the building and construction industry is expansive and exciting to be a part of, there are many factors to consider when working onsite.
Due to the work being undertaken, the industry will always have high risks of accidents occuring. These accidents could result in injuries or even worse, fatalities. It is imperative that every professional working in the industry is aware of how to best reduce these occurrences from happening.
Upon completion of the construction induction training course, you must be able to demonstrate sufficient understanding of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards, and how to best adhere to them to reduce hazards and risks in the workplace.
As a professional, by completing the construction induction training course, you can expect to have greater confidence in ensuring the safety of your colleagues around you when working on a construction project as there is a certain level of trust where everyone understands how to avoid accidents and what to do to prevent them from occurring.
When entering the industry, you will be looking at many different employers to impress. One of the most important factors they will consider is how well you are trained. Whether you have a white card or not is part of this consideration.
Employers will look favourably upon those that have followed all the required steps to enter the industry, white card included. Some people bypass this by completing the white card course from a non-registered RTO. This only hurts their career by preventing them from working with a plethora of organisations who will not hire someone without having completed the correct training process.
By completing your white card course, you are indirectly informing employers that you can be trusted to adhere to occupational health and safety requirements in the workplace.
Work anywhere across the country
States in Australia once had their own cards. Different colours such as red, blue and green represented different states which may or may not have had few minor differences in how their cards were obtained and the process for obtaining them. The white card has replaced all these cards to now officially be the nationally recognized card for Australia.
The advantage to this is that the work you can do as a construction professional is not limited to one state. Previously, this may have been the case. What would have originally needed to happen for you to be able to perform construction-related activities in different states was obtain the specified card for that specific state, and so on. The hassle that came with this also meant that many were put off from having to have multiple different cards for different states. If the work is the same, why would you need more than one card?
Thankfully, there is only one card nationwide, and that is the white card. By legally obtaining a white card from completing a construction induction training course, you are opening up a world of opportunities as you can travel between states to find the best places or projects to be a part of.
There are many reasons why construction professionals should do a white card course, but none are as important as the fact that it is legally required. By completing a white card course, you are setting yourself up to be the best version of yourself in the building and construction industry.
Parker Brent is a registered training provider of the white card course, as well as courses in building and construction. For more information, enquire today here.