A GRAFTON-based company has shown it is possible for local businesses to go up against the "big boys" and win contracts for work on the Pacific Highway upgrade.

CHS Training has just announced it has won an RMS contract to supply both traffic controller and traffic controller planning training for the "lollipop people" drivers will see directing traffic during the construction phase of the upgrade.

The director of CHS Training, Darren Hayes, said the tender process was involved and he was gratified to hear feedback from the RMS about how happy they were with it.

"For a small regional training organisation to be able to compete with large metropolitan-based registered training organisations in the delivery of this training is fantastic for the Clarence Valley," Mr Hayes said.

He said the success of the tender was also down to the credentials of the two people providing the training, Martin Whiston and Warren Lindsay.

"When they saw we had these two people, they recognised we had two of the best in the business," Mr Hayes said.

Mr Whiston said his personal experience in traffic control showed it was not just fill-in job.

"I got into it in 1993 not wanting to be a traffic controller, but I loved it," he said. "I got to travel around the world doing it, being paid quite well.

"It was an entry-level introduction to civil construction."

Mr Lindsay said the training CHS offered was at an apprenticeship level.

"Traffic control is not simply stopping and starting traffic," he said. "It's a science of putting out signage to pre-warn the public of what they can expect ahead.

"It makes it easier for the workers and people inside the vehicles on what's expected and how to proceed and react."

He said traffic control had become almost a science, with four levels of training beginning with the use of the stop-slow bat to control traffic flow, types of signage to deploy, choosing which traffic control plan to use and, at a managerial level, auditing of the systems in use.

"Putting the four together, you end up with a total career path from working on a stop-slow bat, right through to managerial," Mr Lindsay said.



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