BY JESSICA NICOL
When Stuart Wickens ventured into traffic control over 25 years’ ago, it was a male dominated industry, now as managing director of Go Traffic, his fellow colleagues - some of the best in the business - are female.
“I’ve been in the industry for over 25 years, in the beginning it was very male dominated. I started on the road as a traffic controller then I went to university and returned to the industry,” Mr Wickens said.
“It was more a guy’s thing but now there is a lot of girls and we find they do a really good job. They’ve got a good level of concentration, a bit more empathy then some of the guys and react better in certain situations.”
Go Traffic provides the opportunity for a career change, which was the case for current operations administrator and events coordinator Tennielle Banks.
“I’ve been with Go Traffic now for just over three years. I was working as a beauty therapist when I noticed the traffic controllers and thought I’d look into it,” Ms Banks said.
“I was working in traffic control out on the roads for two years when they asked me to come into the office. I’ve grown in so many ways, there is always opportunities to undergo more training and courses.
“I would definitely recommend this as a career, I never thought I’d be in the position I am now and feel pretty lucky to have grown with Go Traffic. I just love the events, I not only run them, but I work them as well.
“There’s a real sense of pride and it makes you feel good at the end of the night when everything has gone to plan.”
For Ron Wagener joining the Go Traffic team was a step out of uncertainty when a longstanding career at Alcoa came to an end.
“I’ve been here now for just over five years, I used to work at Alcoa for 25 years plus but when they closed, they announced everyone would lose their jobs,” he said.
“It’s fantastic at Go Traffic, it’s like a family here, they really care about the people, give opportunities and treat everyone fairly. Any questions you ask you get an answer and they support you all the way through, that’s how I was promoted through the roles.
“I did traffic control for two and a half years then put into a quality role where it was with processes and compliance, then got promoted up into the operation manager.”
Mr Wagner says now he travels around the state doing the same thing and considers himself very fortunate to have found a rewarding career after Alcoa.
“Getting back into employment can be really hard, this role is a transition for senior people. Anyone with processing or manufacturing related experience, it’s a great role for them. We’ve got guidelines, you follow the process step by step,” he said.
“With your body getting older, the job caters to you and gives you a career with movement opportunities before retirement; especially with the retirement age getting further away.
“The casual hours, meaning you can work two, three or four days upwards, means that the job can fit around people’s lifestyles.”
Go Traffic operations team leader Rosie Burns has been with the company for five years and in the industry for eight after leaving a career in hospitality.
“There’s a lot more women in the industry now. It’s a career where you can progress. I loved being outside, it’s different to what most women are used to doing. You learn different things and move up,” she said.
“Go Traffic is a good company, with good people and the industry itself is a really good one to be in.”
Stuart Wickens said they were looking forward to once again giving back to the community through employment opportunities and providing a rewarding career.
For more information and to apply go to: gotraffic.com.au/recruitment