The future is looking bright for North-West skills training, with work progressing well on the $2.4million Pilbara TAFE Karratha campus upgrade.
Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan said local business L E Roberts Drafting and Design had completed plans for a new metals trade training workshop to be built at the Karratha Campus on Dampier Road.
“Construction tenders are scheduled to be called in June, with building expected to start in September, so the new facility is ready for use in early 2009,” Mr McGowan said.
“Once the upgrade is complete, metals training will move from the existing main trade workshop to the new workshop.
“The new 600 sq.m workshop will provide extra space so that two classes of apprentices can be trained in the facility.
“The upgrade will also have the added benefit of freeing-up space in the existing facilities so training in other trades, such as automotive and building and construction, can be expanded.
“Overall, the expanded space for trades training will enable an extra 45 students to be trained each day.
“Thanks to the upgrade, Pilbara TAFE will have greater capacity to train more tradespeople to meet industry demand for skilled labour.”
North-West Coastal MLA Fred Riebeling said the infrastructure upgrade would include up to $1million in new trade training tools and equipment.
“These include diesel engines, metal lathes, milling machines, a profile cutter, a hydraulic press, a power hacksaw and hydraulic training rigs to replace outdated gear, some of which is up to 30 years old,” Mr Riebeling said.
“The upgrade and new equipment will inject new life into trade training in Karratha and will benefit students, apprentices, trainees and industry.
“The contemporary design will also provide a safer training environment for apprentices and staff.”
The Minister said the Carpenter Government was serious about addressing skill shortages in the North-West, to ensure that the benefits of today’s boom would continue to be felt in the future.
“The upgrade was part of the Carpenter Government’s $43million package to boost TAFE trade training infrastructure,” Mr McGowan said.
“Since February 2005, the State Government has committed a record additional $284million to addressing skill shortages, including this significant package to upgrade TAFE trade training infrastructure.”
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