Recruitment ramps up for $15bn North East Link project in VIC

Monica Gameng   |   March 21, 2022
North East Link (cr: Victoria's Big Build)

Estimated to create more than 10,000 jobs over its life, Victoria’s largest road project – the North East Link – is ramping up its search for workers to build this significant road infrastructure with the announcement of a recruitment drive. 

To date, about four million hours have been worked on the North East Link and new people start work on the project each week as works also ramp up on the massive development that will deliver the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network. 

More than 1,000 people are already working on the project along with about 100 apprentices, trainees and cadets who have worked 100,000 hours. 

In October 2021, a $11.1 billion contract for the tunnelling package was awarded to the Spark consortium – which is comprised of WeBuild, GS Engineering and Construction, CPB Contractors, China Construction Oceania, Ventia, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments, DIF and Pacific Partnerships. You can read more about the contract award here. 

Following this major contract award, dozens of jobs are now advertised and hundreds more will be released to market over the coming months. 

A Skills and Jobs Centre has been established in Watsonia where locals will be connected to training and jobs on the project, aiding in the recruitment drive for a range of roles required to plan, design and build the North East Link tunnels. 

The Skills and Jobs Centre will connect those who are interested in working on the project to apprenticeships, TAFE courses, worksite tickets and licenses as well as all to levels of project engineers. 

Corporate positions are also advertised, and these roles play an important part in supporting project delivery. These positions include contract administrators, commercial managers, community engagement specialists and administration roles. 

“North East Link is set to create more than 10,000 jobs – with dozens of jobs now open and hundreds more on the way, we’re providing jobs when our community and economy needs them most. 

“The Skills and Jobs Centre will work with industry to link the right candidates to the right jobs – from opening up career pathways for apprentices and trainees, through to connecting experienced professionals with the project,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. 


Early works on the project are progressing well to pave the way for major construction to begin on the new tunnels. The works include three mini tunnel boring machines digging a new 1.8-kilometre section of the Yarra East Main Sewer. 

Other early works involve relocating 4.5 kilometres of gas and power lines to the west of Greensborough Road along with the construction of the fast-tracked Bulleen Park and Ride which is the first part of the Eastern Express Busway. 

This year, the project team will establish work compounds to support major construction activities as well as order the tunnel boring machines and select preferred bidders for the next key work packages for North East Link – including packages for a massive overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated busway, and the completion of the M80 Ring Road. 

Other works that will go underway this year include switching on the new section of the Yarra East Main Sewer, finishing moving of almost 100 utilities, and collecting feedback from the community on local elements of the project design such as open space and walking and cycling paths. 

With works continuing to ramp up, Victorians are encouraged to plan ahead to allow for extra travel time while works are being carried out in the North East. During a six-week blitz, crews will work around the clock to remove a major pinch point at Main Road and Fitzsimons Lanes – Eltham’s busiest intersection. 

Upgrades to the Porter Street intersection in Eltham will also begin in late April this year and Porter Street is going to be closed between Fitzsimons Lane and Edwin Road for about seven weeks. 

“Whether it’s upgrading local roads, removing level crossings, or delivering the North East Link – only Labor has a transport plan to keep traffic moving and support thousands of jobs in the North East,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said. 

The $15.75 billion North East Link development is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments, each contributing $1.75 billion and $14 billion respectively. 

Once completed, the North East Link will remove up to 15,000 trucks from local roads daily as well as slash travel times by about 35 minutes. 

Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; Victoria’s Big Build (1, 2) 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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