Jill and Mal Barnes with Aidan Menzel from Chek Air Conditioning.
Jill and Mal Barnes with Aidan Menzel from Chek Air Conditioning.

Business excited by jobs potential of government contracts

A FAMILY-OWNED Ipswich business is hopeful of providing work for more local contractors, apprentices and suppliers if they can secure additional State Government contracts, after getting the nod to install air-conditioning at one of Ipswich's biggest schools.

The Queensland Government fast-tracked $50 million for its schools air-con program to cool down more than 300 schools across southern Queensland.

Chek Air Conditioning will install 51 units at Ipswich State High School early next year.

The Raceview-based business, owned by Jill and Mal Barnes, employs 11 staff and has operated locally for more than 20 years.

They are hopeful of securing more contracts and are in the process of providing quotes for several schools in Ipswich and western Brisbane.

Chek has put feelers out to 120 schools across the south east.

The Ipswich State High contract had already provided a "massive boost" to the business but securing more will allow them to bring more workers and apprentices on board.

"We're just hoping, as Ipswich State High School did, they go with smaller contractors rather than the big national companies," Mrs Barnes said.

"It's an opportunity if we win these projects to be able to put more apprentices on and be able to give more job opportunities to young people.

"It would probably be on a contractual basis depending upon what we win.

"It's not just about us having more work and being able to give people opportunities to get jobs in our company but also (provide more work) for suppliers. We only use local Ipswich companies."

Tradesman Aidan Menzel just finished his refrigeration mechanic apprenticeship last month after coming on board with the business while in Year 11.

The Ipswich State High School contract will allow Chek to keep him working on a full-time basis.

"The air-conditioing industry is very, very seasonal," Mrs Barnes said.

"It really slows down in winter time. When we have full-time employees sometimes it can be difficult to carry them through the winter time.

"We're hoping we'll be able to win a lot more of these school contracts to give us the opportunity to carry ourselves through that winter time."


Full list of local schools that will be fully air-conditioned

- Amberley District State School

- Aratula State School

- Augusta State School

- Bellbird Park State Secondary College

- Blenheim State School

- Boonah State High School

- Boonah State School

- Brassall State School

- Bremer State High School

- Bundamba State School

- Bundamba State Secondary College

- Camira State School

- Collingwood Park State School

- Darra State School

- Deebing Heights State School

- Fernbrooke State School

- Gatton State School

- Glamorgan Vale State School

- Goodna Special School

- Goodna State School

- Grandchester State School

- Grantham State School

- Hatton Vale State School

- Ipswich Central State School

- Ipswich East State School

- Ipswich North State School

- Ipswich Special School

- Ipswich State High School

- Kalbar State School

- Laidley District State School

- Laidley State High School

- Leichhardt State School

- Lockrose State School

- Lockyer District State High School

- Lowood State High School

- Lowood State School

- Minden State School

- Mount Alford State School

- Murphy's Creek State School

- Mutdapilly State School

- Raceview State School

- Rathdowney State School

- Redbank Plains State High School

- Redbank Plains State School

- Riverview State School

- Rosewood State High School

- Rosewood State School

- Silkstone State School

- Springfield Central State High School

- Springfield Central State School

- Springfield Lakes State School

- Tarampa State School

- Toogoolawah State High School

- Toogoolawah State School

- Warrill View State School

- Withcott State School

- Woodlinks State School

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