A local career path for gamers and IT nerds

Maryborough handrail and balustrade manufacturers Moddex will be looking for young people with good computer skills and an eye for detail when it exhibits at the Fraser Coast Industry & Careers Showcase.

Feature story

A local career path for gamers and IT nerds

If you’ve ever wondered if your kids’ gaming obsession or computer skills would amount to anything more than a sleep-deprived hobby, there may just be a local company that can provide an unexpected answer.


Christina Ongley
Big Voice Communications

07 4124 2526


IF YOU’VE ever wondered if your kids’ gaming obsession or computer skills would amount to anything more than a sleep-deprived hobby, there may just be a local company that can provide an unexpected answer.

Handrail and balustrade manufacturers Moddex are taking part in the inaugural Fraser Coast Industry & Careers Showcase next month, and they’ll be looking for young people with just those kinds of skills to join its recently established design academy.

Moddex is a leading producer of the kind of products most of us rarely think about but can’t do without – modular barrier systems for large-scale infrastructure and non-residential construction projects, including roads, bridges, sports precincts and more.

The company’s innovative design and speed to installation has meant product demand and growth is strong – but it’s struggled to find people with the right computer-aided design (CAD) software skills to help it meet demand.

“To do the kind of detailed work we needed, typically we’ve either had to look for people with years of CAD experience, who are few and far between, or look at offshore options,” Moddex chief operating officer Reuben Jensen said.

“With the rapid growth we were experiencing, we needed to expand our CAD team, but we wanted to grow it sustainably and move the work back onshore – without losing control of the quality work we’re renowned for.”

So Moddex took a leap. It invested significant capital in globally recognised software program Tekla, helping to lower the skill barriers to recruitment and broaden its candidate pool.

Company leaders took a punt on four young locals aged between 17 and 22, whose experience ranged anywhere from high school industrial graphics qualifications to simply being keen gamers.

“Those first four have turned out to be up there with some of the best we have in our CAD operation,” Reuben said.

Not only did that gamble pay off, it’s led to the creation of the design academy based out of the old Maryborough Sugar Mill, with ambitious plans not only to grow the business but create careers that can go anywhere.

“At the moment our workforce sits at just under 100 across Australia and New Zealand, about 50 of whom are based in Maryborough. We expect to have roughly 40 more positions becoming available over the next four years, and growing the design academy will be an important part of that,” Reuben said.

“After a few short weeks of training, academy employees are working on some of Australia’s most featured projects detailing the Moddex systems, and are supported every step of the way.

“Academy graduates can go into a range of areas, whether it’s back-end programming, coding, site scanning or construction. But that’s just with us. We see ourselves as a stepping stone in their careers – we want to set up them up for a journey of success.

“They leave us with great skills on globally recognised software that could also take them into areas such as architecture or concrete design – the possibilities are virtually endless.”

Moddex will be just one of the more than 60 employers and organisations exhibiting at the Fraser Coast’s newest and most interactive jobs showcase on October 12 at the Maryborough Showgrounds.

The showcase is the brainchild of the Fraser Coast Regional Jobs Committee, which is funded by the Queensland Government.

The free, all-ages event aims to bring employers and trainers together with current jobseekers as well as those on the hunt for a new or future career, with a view to building a more stable and skilled local workforce and growing the region’s economy.

Determined to be part of the local employment solution, Moddex will be pushing the academy and looking for motivated youngsters with an eye for detail.
“Ideally we want people who have graduated from Year 12 – they need to prove they’re finishers,” Reuben said.

“At the showcase we’ll be displaying some of our product and we’ll have one of our CAD desks set up to do real project modelling. We want to give people a realistic, hands-on feel for what we do and show that we can provide good-quality jobs and a solid career path.”

The showcase will run from 1pm-6pm at Maryborough Showgrounds on October 12. For more information, visit www.jobsfrasercoast.com.au/industry-showcase, or follow @JobsFraserCoast on Facebook for regular event and job updates.