What is the Simonds Building and Trade Program?

The Simonds Building and Trade Program is a unique initiative that aims to provide aspiring builders and tradespeople with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the construction industry.

This program is a joint initiative between SEDA, Builders Academy Australia, and the Simonds Group, one of Australia’s leading residential builders. This program is designed to help participants develop the practical skills and knowledge required to work on real construction projects.

Taking on a construction project for Melbourne City Mission

Term 4 was a big one for our Simonds Building and Trade program — and it got even busier when they took on a week-long construction project for Melbourne City Mission. Working in two teams, the students designed and built a new courtyard for the Lion Garden, which provides supported housing for young people and helps them move from dependence to independence.

We caught up with the A Team as they installed their new deck and Little Veggie Patch Co planter boxes.


Chris, Sinan and Ahmad worked on the Lion Garden Courtyard’s new deck. “We built this in the workshop and brought it over today to install. It’ll be a nice communal area for the residents.”


Trainer Danny has been working with the students as they’ve designed and built the deck, and explains the ins and outs of its construction process. “We had to come up with a design that could be assembled in the workshop, taken apart and easily installed. Normally this would be just one long deck, but we’ve done it in sections so the students can work on one section each.”


Using hand tools and drills, the students are applying the carpentry skills they’ve been learning over the first year of their course. “We’ve built dog kennels, a tool box and other little items to get us started for big projects like this.”


The students are also installing planter boxes, built using materials like pre-cut timber supplied by @Little Veggie Patch Co. They look forward to the residents digging around in the planters: “Hopefully they’ll get to grow their own vegetables. They’ll have a nice vertical garden as well, all the way up the wall.”


Trainer Danny explains how to dynabolt the deck to the concrete. “I think it’s a great project. In the future, when the students are walking down this alley, they can say: ‘I built that.’”


Ben from SEDA lent a foot to help the students square up their planter boxes. He explains how the students have been learning about youth homelessness and disadvantage this semester. “It’s great for the students to learn in the classroom and then have that lead into projects. They’re applying their skills, and they’re developing their community conscience.”


The project has also taught the students about project management, from design to build, as well as on-site problem solving.


Chris and Sinan are proud of the team’s hard work and of what the courtyard will mean to the Lion Garden residents. “Hopefully this helps them get back on their feet. It makes you feel good.”

Congrats, A Team, and huge thanks to Melbourne City Mission and Little Veggie Patch Co for teaming up with our students on this rewarding project. Click here to see the finished product!


Begin your pathway towards an apprenticeship and take on construction projects

The Simonds Building and Trade Program is a joint initiative between SEDA, Builders Academy Australia, and Simonds Group. It is specifically designed to engage Year 11 and 12 students in their education while creating pathways to apprenticeships in building and construction. Simonds Group also provides ongoing support to the program participants to help them succeed, including access to career counselling and job placement services.

If you are a student who prefers to gain hands-on practical experience, the Simonds Building and Trade Program is a good opportunity to learn more information about a range of trades and start your career in the building and construction industry. This training is delivered by experienced trainers and assessors and is designed to ensure that aside from the formal training, you will also develop important life skills such as organisation, independence, and resilience. Once you complete this program, you will have the opportunity to apply for a range of entry-level positions within the construction industry.