The future of Mid-West skills training has received a boost with the delivery of $790,000 worth of new trade equipment to Central West TAFE.
Premier Alan Carpenter and Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan today visited Central West TAFE’s Geraldton campus to view the new equipment for metals and engineering, construction and hospitality skills training.
The Premier said the new equipment included welders, air compressors, a panel saw, aluminium drop saws, metallurgy equipment, six commercial stoves and other cookery items.
“The new equipment will support expanded skills training for more than 875 students doing trades training at the Geraldton campus,” he said.
Mr Carpenter also visited the new $3.7million trade training facilities upgrade at the Geraldton campus.
“The busy carpentry, fitting and machining, and automotive workshops have been expanded, and a new undercover area for general skills training has been built,” the Premier said.
“The brand new ‘Skills Kitchen’ is fitted out with the latest commercial cookery equipment, and training for apprentice chefs, cooks and local secondary students from school-based training programs will begin operating this semester.”
Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan said the new equipment for Central West TAFE was part of the State Government’s $13.35million investment in new and upgraded training equipment for TAFEWA colleges around Western Australia.
“We are focusing on the traditional trades and the hospitality sector where skill shortages are biting the hardest,” the Minister said.
“Old and outdated equipment is being replaced to make sure training in TAFEWA colleges keeps pace with real workplaces.
“It is important that apprentices, trainees and school students in vocational programs have access to relevant tools and equipment in their off-the-job training.”
Geraldton MLA Shane Hill said the boost in trade training opportunities provided by the new equipment had been welcomed by the local community, particularly business and young people wanting to improve their employment opportunities.
“Everyone appreciates that the State Government is serious about addressing the skill shortages, particularly in regional centres like Geraldton which are undergoing such massive growth,” Mr Hill said.
“The Government recognises that regionally-based businesses must have access to labour and local people must have access to jobs.”
The Premier said the Government was committed to transforming Western Australia’s training system to make it more responsive, flexible, relevant and efficient.
“Since February 2005, the State Government has committed a record additional $284million to addressing skill shortages,” he said.
“Furthermore we have more than doubled the number of apprentices and trainees in WA over the past seven years.”
Premier’s office - 9222 9475
Education and Training Minister’s office - 9222 9111