Roads of the Future

Roads. They’re vital, integral to our everyday existence, but the average person no doubt takes these essential mechanisms for granted. 

A lot of hard work and effort goes into the maintenance of Australia’s life-blood, with our large land mass offering unique challenges and fulfilling opportunities.
A great opportunity to chat with the road community firsthand is at the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association’s ‘Roads of the Future, Embracing The Next Generation’ exhibition. AAPA’s CEO Carlos Rial is excited for this industry-first event, explaining that road construction is a rapidly growing national market.
"We've seen both the federal and state governments across the country raise funding for essential infrastructure – which, of course, includes roads," Rial says. "In Victoria, they've put in an extra two billion dollars in particular just last year. We're really looking to showcase the industry and really trying to attract the best people to come and look at our sector as an employment opportunity for their options. We're also looking for those that are in the industry who want to up-skill. There'll be a number of leading education facilities there on the day. In them coming along, too, they have an opportunity to win thousands of dollars worth of training and the like.
"Demand is always there for roads," Rial continues. "Australia's still developing its road network, so there's always a lot to be done. We really want to make sure that we get the right people coming into our industry. There's heaps of demand as far as work goes – we just want to make sure that we get the right people to do the work."
Searching specifically for local Victorian workers to join the massive industry, Rial notes that they’re not just looking for field operators, but applicants from a huge range of positions, including (but not limited to) supervisors, project managers, safety officers and contractors. You don’t have to be looking specifically at construction either, with organisations like VicRoads attending – and you can bring the family, with plenty to entertain the kids including robots to build, giveaways, a jumping castle, big trucks and a BBQ.
"We need to look at innovation," Rial says of the future. "Doing things differently, doing things smarter, which is something that we continuously have to do. Obviously, we have a challenge regarding our population versus our infrastructure that we have sometimes, so we need to invest a lot into doing things smarter. That's the challenge for the next 20 years."
A prize containing $2,500 worth of AAPA Road Worker Training will be given to someone who attends on the day. There’ll even be international organisations in attendance, offering the potential to travel worldwide and experience global business. Rial assures that in a multi-billion dollar industry.
"I think everybody underestimates the value of the road network," he says. "It's the life-blood of the country. It connects people to people, connects people to things, to hospitals and medical services. It drives all the essential goods that go within the country and export.
“Roads are what connect us, and making sure that we have a reliable and safe network is essential to just about all of us, who drive on it every day."

The AAPA’s Roads of the Future, Embracing The Next Generation will take place at the Exhibition Centre on Sunday August 13.