Problem solving overcomes obstacles

Jonty, 18, is a trainee at civil mining and underground contractor Cape.

She graduated from Motivation Foundation with a Certificate II in Civil Construction and is now working on her Certificate III Civil Construction qualification. She has tickets to drive and operate a roller, a water cart, a loader and and excavator.

As a young girl, she initially wanted to follow in her policeman uncle’s footsteps. But throughout high school she was drawn to manual arts, including woodwork and metal work, and enjoyed working on mini-construction projects including a step ladder and a dog’s house. Her dog, it transpires, was too big for the kennel. But Jonty says whenever things don’t go to plan, she makes a point of learning for next time.

“My parents encouraged me to find a job with good pay,” Jonty says. “Civil construction is a great industry and I choose to take the challenge.”

Jonty, who was born with Cerebral palsy and has limited use of her right arm, says with braces and small modifications, she’s been able to safely use equipment and she feels empowered by her ability to solve problems.

“I can do everything you can do, I just have to add a few more steps,” Jonty says, adding that she feels supported in her new role to speak up and ask for the modifications she needs to do her job safely. “If I see a problem, I don’t see it as a failure, I work around it to find a solution.

“I never thought when I finished school I’d be doing this.”

Jonty values her financial independence and would love to work “up north” in winter, returning to Perth in the warmer months.

For now, she says, she would encourage high school students who are struggling at school to consider a career in civil construction. “Know your limits, find ways to work around an issue and challenge yourself,” she says. “Motivation Foundation were brilliant. For kids not doing well at mainstream studies, I would recommend this as a pathway to a good career and a good future.”

Construction Training Fund funds training places at Motivation Foundation. Motivation Foundation, which started as Ertech Construction Academy in 2008, offers secondary students from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to transition from school to work. The program ensures participants get the training and skills they need, including becoming job ready. Students complete a Certificate II Civil Construction pre-traineeship while they are still at school, while the program coaches and mentors and links young people with future employers.

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The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.