Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

Minister for Education and Training; South West

    New $220,000 equipment for Kununurra apprentices

    25/06/2008 12:00 AM

    Training is right on track for Kununurra apprentices and students, with the arrival of $220,000 worth of new automotive training gear.


    Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan today visited the Kimberley TAFE Kununurra campus to see the new tools and equipment funded by the State Government.


    Mr McGowan said the equipment boost was in addition to the $1.25million trade training workshop upgrade completed last year.


    “The equipment upgrade is paving the way for greater numbers of local people to access skills training,” he said.


    “The new equipment includes two four-tonne hoists to raise vehicles, an oxyacetylene plate cutting system, heavy duty pedestal drilling machine, and two inverter welders, plus a second-hand hydraulic press has also been installed.


    “Thanks to the new-look workshop and equipment and a strong partnership between Kimberley TAFE and Kimberley Group Training, trades training has grown in the region.


    “There are now 35 apprentices in training across Kimberley TAFE’s Kununurra and Broome campuses, with 13 of these based at Kununurra.”


    The Minister said the Kununurra campus was also a key venue for entry-level training in automotive, general construction, engineering and industrial skills.


    “The Kununurra campus now offers a range of pre-apprenticeship courses including carpentry and joinery, vehicle servicing and small motor maintenance, fitting and machining, and fabrication,” he said.


    “The workshop facilities are used by apprentices and trainees, as well as VET in school students and students in other programs.


    “It is very encouraging that indigenous students are well represented in these programs, particularly in the construction trade.


    “Industry is also using the new facilities for apprentice skill development programs, sometimes on a hire basis.”


    Kimberley MLA Carol Martin said the value of local skills training opportunities could not be underestimated.


    “For example, in May a group of level two construction apprentices completed their block of off-the-job training at the Kununurra campus, rather than having to travel down to Perth,”  Mrs Martin said.


    “At the moment, a group of level one construction apprentices are doing their training at the campus.


    “Because of the workshop facilities, young people are able to stay in the region while doing their apprenticeships and local employers are able to get directly involved in training their future workforce.”


    Mr McGowan said putting the trade training infrastructure in place in the Kimberley was a crucial step in skilling the region.


    “This is a tangible example of the Government’s commitment to training Western Australia’s future workforce,” he said.


    The Minister said the State Government was serious about addressing the skill shortages and that was why it had committed a record additional $284million to the area since February 2005.


    Minister's office -  9222 9111