Urgent COVID-19 Update

Kathryn Whitfield BeltonHealth & SafetyLeave a Comment

A nurse administering a vaccine injection to a patient
A nurse administering a vaccine injection to a patient

Important breaking news for all construction workers – no jab, no work

NECA Education & Careers apprentices, students, employers and host employers,

The Victorian Premier has today announced important new restrictions for the Victorian construction industry which affects all apprentices employed in NECA Education & Careers group training (GTO) and attending our trade school. This follows the industry being put on notice by the Victorian Government after recording hundreds of COVID-19 cases in recent days.

  1. From 11:59pm on Thursday 23 September construction workers will not be permitted on site unless they have had at least their first dose of a COVID vaccine and can provide evidence to their employer. For our group training apprentices, this means providing evidence to both NECA Education & Careers and your host employer.
  2. From 11:59pm on Friday 17 September (11:59pm tomorrow night) construction workers will not be permitted to travel from metropolitan Melbourne to regional Victoria or vice versa.

GTO apprentices

We understand that this will impact many of you. NECA Education & Careers GTO apprentices should contact their Industry Careers Consultant. The new restrictions have just been announced and it will take some before we know

Victoria’s building and construction industry has been put on notice by the Victorian Government after recording hundreds of COVID-19 cases in recent days. The Victorian Government has identified concerning data that shows some sections of our industry have not been operating in a COVIDSafe way, resulting in the increase in cases and has put the building and construction industry on notice. Everyone employed in the building and construction industry must take this warning very seriously, otherwise, our permitted worker status will be put at risk.

Please act today to ensure that you and your workers are operating in a COVIDSafe way and our industry can continue to operate.

NECA Education & Careers is strongly urging all of its employees, apprentices and students to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The Victorian government has previously advised that the industry can only return to 50% capacity once 90% of construction workers have had at least one jab.

  1. A priority vaccination access program for building and construction workers – see further details below.
  2. An enforcement blitz of building and construction sites started on Monday 13 September. Authorised Officers and WorkSafe Inspectors will undertake compliance checks across the building and construction industry. This blitz will specifically target areas of our industry that have been identified as failing COVIDSafe requirements. Health data will be used to visit to locations where high rates of transmission are occurring. It will continue for the next four weeks.

Please ensure that you are following the rules – and remain vigilant to help stop the spread of the Delta variant and keep our industry open. We still believe that slow work is better than no work!

Taking advantage of priority access to vaccinations is now key.

Four major vaccination centres to walk-ins without a booking, every day until 26 September 2021. Details are as follows:

  • There are a range of priority booked, walk-ins and general appointments available to those working in the building and construction industry.
  • Verbal attestation is all that is required for people who are building and construction workers.
  • Building and construction workers aged 60 years and over will be offered AstraZeneca. Workers aged under 60 years will be offered Pfizer.
  • Building and construction workers are defined as workers at a construction site, including apprentices and workers who frequently visit. A construction site is a work premises, residential, commercial or government at which civil works, building or construction activities take place.

Access to priority Pfizer appointments

  • 20,000 priority Pfizer appointments made available to the building and construction sector. Priority Pfizer appointments are available for workers aged under 60 years of age.
  • Building and construction workers will be able to book up to Friday 17 September.
  • Appointments are available up to Sunday 19 September.
  • Appointments can be made by calling the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
  • Family members of workers are not eligible for priority appointments. Those aged 12 and over can access a general appointment.

Walk ins for building and construction workers at vaccination

  • Dedicated walk-in access times are being opened for building and construction workers at the following vaccination centres: 
    • Wyndham in-person vaccination clinic – Eagle Stadium
    • Melton in-person vaccination clinic
    • Campbellfield Ford Complex in-person Vaccination Clinic
    • Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
  • Walk ins will run until Sunday 26 September.
  • Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is offering walk ins for AstraZeneca only each afternoon from 3pm until Sunday 26 September.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who works at a site where civil works, building or construction activities take place, including contractors and architects working on site, will be eligible. It’s important to remember that any Victorian, including building and construction workers, can also book to get vaccinated with their local GP or selected pharmacists across the state.

Additional guidance can be accessed on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

Check the latest exposure sites on the Coronavirus website.

Please do all that you can to be COVIDSafe and again we urge you to get vaccinated.

Please stay and stay well in these incredibly challenging times.

Students, if you have further questions, please check our FAQ page for the answers to our most common queries.

For all updates please click here.


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