ICN Victoria and VIPP working together to support local industry engagement, skills and development
Helping local companies to improve and succeed in the turbulent world of construction development is important to project management company Leighton Contractors. 
Recognised as one of Australia’s most diverse and established industry leaders and employing more than 14,000 staff, building strong and meaningful relationships with the community is a high priority. 
Since its inception, Leighton’s managed the development of the new state-of-the-art Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre (BRICC). They had a package of construction work available for local builders to price, and in order to meet their Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) commitments called on ICN Victoria’s Grampian’s office to offer suitable nominations. 
The VIPP is a Victorian Government initiative designed to ensure that local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are given a full and fair opportunity to compete for government contracts, while still achieving value for money. The Policy requires that government agencies consider local content as a key selection criterion in tender evaluation and other relevant procurement processes.
ICN Victoria facilitates the VIPP on behalf of the State Government, performing both assistance and assessment services for VIPP Plans submitted for government-funded contracts valued at over $1 million in regional Victoria or $3 million in metropolitan areas state-wide.
Regional Manager, Andrew Bradley identified capable  local companies that he knew in the region, as well as consulting ICN’s online database, ICN Gateway (www.icngateway.com.au), which houses more than 75,000 suppliers, and suggested a number of worthy companies for Leighton’s to consider. 
After some careful consideration Nicholson Construction, were the successful company to win the work – worth $1.8M - based off a selection criteria of experience, competitive pricing, and location. 
With their head office in Ballarat, Nicholson Construction has grown from a partnership of two brothers to become one of the strongest and most diverse building companies in the Victoria. 
Having many years’ experience working on health projects, Nicholson Construction has also contributed to a number of developments including the Ballarat Health Services Emergency Department and Mental Health Unit, the (Bendigo) St. John of God Hospital refurbishment of the North Wing, consisting of a new Coronary Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit, and the redevelopment of consulting suites at the Ballarat Base Hospital. Not limited to health projects Nicholson Construction put their name to multitude of other private developments and education projects.
Humble and always keen to improve, the company have reaped the benefits of being exposed to a Tier 1 construction company by benchmarking Leighton’s internal policies and procedures, which have been integrated into their own work practices to improve their systems such as OHS and Quality Assurance.  
“Though ICN we have gained valuable experience working with Leighton Contractors, which have improved our systems and knowledge when working with large contracts. We look forward to working with ICN in the future.” Richard Nicholson, Director, Nicholson Construction.
Since 2001, the Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) has been applied to more than 4,100 Government projects valued at over $48 billion and has achieved average local content levels of almost 87 per cent., This equates to more than $41 billion of local content, including more than $1 billion of orders for local industry, facilitated directly by ICN.
Is your company registered on ICN Gateway? To become involved with the many project opportunities around Victoria, you can’t afford to miss out! Register your company now at www.icngateway.com.au.