The program sees the young people perform a wide variety of hands on building tasks, whilst simultaneously completing a Certificate I or II in Construction. Participants usually work on one property, from start to finish. SYC has been delivering the training for this program as the RTO for a number of years.

Greg Wirth, principal of YEC, says the program is very comprehensive.

“We have now done 14 projects like this. This one has certainly been the most challenging.”

When the property was handed over to the program, it had been recently firebombed and was uninhabitable. There was a hole in the roof and the young people had to clear out and clean much of the damaged structure before other construction could commence.

The team was able to try their hand at first and second fix carpentry, tiling, painting, landscaping concreting and some plumbing, alongside their theoretical course work. The property took just over 10 months to restore to code, ready for a tenant.

“It has come up a treat.” Mr Wirth said.

Above the results seen in the building itself, Mr Wirth is also pleased with the personal progress that has been made.

“The pride that the young people take in what they’ve done is fantastic. We’re looking forward to continuing the program, bigger and better.”

The program is supported by SA Housing Authority (SAHA), who provide appropriate houses for restoration. Simon Richards, SAHA Manager of Maintenance Operations said,

“This house was absolutely gutted so having the kids bring it back to this standard is a great achievement.”


The program helps to ensure that more housing stock is available for SAHA tenants in need. He also says that another important aspect for SAHA was being able to provide solid vocational outcomes for young people. He echoed YEC sentiment,

“This is the largest project Building Links has taken on and we’re looking forward to it continuing in the future.”

Laura McLachlan, our Head of Learning at SYC, has seen both the transformation in the building, and in the young people.

“It’s been really great to see everyone throughout the journey, gaining resilience in themselves and confidence in their work,” she said.

At the conclusion of the program in December 2018, four of the participants were already in related work, thanks to their training with the Building Links program.