Hon Murray Cowper MLA

Hon Murray Cowper MLA

Former Minister for Training and Workforce Development; Corrective Services

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Former Minister for Housing; Racing and Gaming

    Golden era for training in Goldfields

    3/07/2012 12:00 AM
    • Agricola College in Kalgoorlie-Boulder to be redeveloped
    • $20million in Royalties for Regions funding
    • Mining Hall of Fame enters new life as training venue

    Students undertaking vocational training in the Goldfields are set to benefit from $20million in State Government Royalties for Regions funding to support the $35million redevelopment of student accommodation at Agricola College in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and studying at the Mining Hall of Fame.


    The redevelopment of Agricola College will see the existing accommodation for 127 students demolished and replaced with 10 contemporary units to cater for 180 students from both the Western Australian School of Mines and the Vocational Training and Education Centre (VTEC) in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. 


    Training and Workforce Development Minister Murray Cowper said the existing Agricola College was in poor condition and the redevelopment was a much needed boost for training in the Goldfields region.


    “A shortage of affordable student housing in Kalgoorlie-Boulder was becoming a potential disincentive, which is why this development is so important for Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the broader Goldfields region,” Mr Cowper said.


    “A well-trained workforce is essential to the State’s economic future and this project will be vital in addressing Western Australia’s demand for skilled workers.”


    Funding of $20million will be provided to support this project via the Royalties for Regions Skills Training Initiative, which is rolling out a series of infrastructure projects designed to address the State’s skills shortage by delivering quality training facilities in regional centres.


    “This project represents a strong partnership between the Department of Training and Workforce Development, Curtin University, VTEC and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and further underpins the ongoing commitment the Liberal-National Government has invested in the Training and Workforce Development portfolio,” he said.


    Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said he was pleased to see Royalties for Regions funding improving access to higher education in regional areas.


    “Offering first class, affordable student accommodation in our regional centres is essential in the attraction and retention of students from not only the Goldfields but from around the State, Australia and overseas,” Mr Grylls said. 


    Building works are scheduled to commence in 2013 and due for completion in 2016, with current students to be housed in temporary accommodation during construction.


    The Mining Hall of Fame will also take on a new lease of life as a training centre while retaining its tourist attractions.


    Mr Cowper said the newly-formed Goldfields Institute of Technology would use the facility for new training courses for mining industry workers to upgrade their operational skills to para-professional qualifications.


    The State Government will invest $3million to refurbish part of the building to be used as learning spaces.


    “The Mining Hall of Fame is a valuable community asset. With Government, community and industry working together, we now look forward to a positive future which meets the needs of the mining industry while preserving the historic and tourist attractions of the past,” Mr Cowper said.


    Mr Cowper said the Advanced Diploma in Mining Engineering Para Professional course complemented existing mining industry training and education in the Goldfields by offering career progression from operational roles to para-professional roles.


    “Candidates are sponsored by their employer and will be expected to have at least five or six years’ experience in mining or mining related industries,” he said.


    “The 18-month course mixes on the job training with multimedia learning and assessment resources. At the end of this time, candidates will have a nationally recognised qualification to undertake management support roles at an open cut or underground mine site.


    “As the students are employer sponsored, it is likely that the course will attract participants from across Western Australia and not just the Goldfields.”


    The first course will commence in July. Local employers have already indicated an inaugural enrolment of about 30 students, and it is expected that there will be an increasing uptake.


    The course work will also prepare candidates for the theory and practical requirements of a Quarry Manager’s Certificate and Underground Supervisor’s Certificate as well as providing a pathway to a First Class Mine Manager bridging course and qualification.


          Fact File

    • $35m overall redevelopment with $20m from Royalties for Regions Skills Training Initiative
    • Curtin University to source remaining project funds in partnership with industry
    • Government’s Royalties for Regions program administered by Department of Regional Development and Lands

    Training and Workforce Development Minister’s office - 6552 5700

    Regional Development Minister’s office - 6552 5500