For Vanessa Parson, her employment at the Batemans Bay bridge replacement project isn't just a job - it's a milestone.
It's her first job ever, and she says she loves it.
"I love it. I love to do it, (it) gets me out of home and not playing the games all the time," she said.
She said there was a lot of support from the project team.
"(I love) meeting new people," she said. "Good bosses to talk to and you get a laugh out of them."
Five per cent of the project's employees are "long-term unemployed", which has surpassed the state's three per cent target.
The project also boasts 45 per cent local employment, 14 per cent Indigenous, 10 per cent under 25 and six per cent women in non-traditional roles.
Trainees and mates Ashbee Reid, William Thomas and Kalem Davis-Wighton said the work gave them stability and they didn't mind the chilly 5.30am wake-ups for a 6.30am start.
"You're guaranteed five days a week, Monday to Friday, sometimes Saturdays," Mr Davis-Wighton said.
"Before this we didn't really do much, all we did was sport. Now we've got a job, we've got something to look forward to in the morning."
Mr Reid appreciated the supportive working environment and said he learned a lot about concreting and labour, teamwork and community.
Mr Thomas said he always looked forward to work and had worked in traffic control before so the job "came straight back to me".
Certificate III Civil Construction trainer and mentor, Michael Mather, of Fusion Training, said once the group had done their training with him, and they secured a job, they were then enrolled in a traineeship and would work for about three years if all went well.
"It depends how much work they're doing, and if they get through it," he said.
"They're a great team, very easy-going. I learn from them aswell. That's what I love. The support they've got for each other is amazing."
He said it wasn't often that big companies like John Holland "embraced" employment programs.
After four months working as a general labourer at the project, Sameeka Wighton said she now wanted a career in construction.
"It's my first time in construction but I don't see myself anywhere else now. I love it. I want a future in this," she said.
"I want to be a part of John Holland's team for the future.
"Our Elders are very supportive ... they come on site regularly, check up on us, have a yarn to us to see how we're enjoying it.
"With all the apprenticeship people we've got on site, I've been a mentor to them, I help them out because I'm a lot older than all of them.
"At the same time, I'm learning as much as they are too because I'm very new to this."
Elder and mentor to Indigenous trainees, Owen Carriage, said the employment program was good for the whole community.
"Some of them have never had employment before and so they're not quite sure how to deal with the issues and of course they're ashamed or embarrassed about talking to non-Indigenous people.
"My part is sitting down at the table, say okay let's get over this hurdle and address the issue they're concerned about.
"Also we have John Holland and RMS involved, and we sort out the issues - which aren't many at this point in time, which is great."