Western Australia is set to become a world class leader in training with a new $13million centre for excellence in oil and gas training facility to be built in Henderson, south of Fremantle, Premier Geoff Gallop announced today.
Dr Gallop said the project, a partnership between industry and Government, would significantly enhance WA’s capacity to respond to skill shortages in the State’s booming energy and chemical production industries.
The new state-of-the-art training centre, to be known as the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT), is expected to be completed in December, 2006 and is planned to be built within the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson.
Short courses and nationally recognised certificate courses will be on offer at the new facility, with an estimated 350 people in training at the facility each year.
The Premier said the multi-million dollar facility was a key recommendation of the Gallop Government’s Burrup Skills Taskforce, established in August 2002 and chaired by Peel MLA Norm Marlborough to look at ways to meet future skills requirements for planned resource projects.
“Earlier this year, I announced a $20million State Government grant to make WA home to one of the world’s most prestigious oil and gas research centres,” Dr Gallop said.
“The research centre is part of our commitment to expanding knowledge-based industries, such as information technology, chemistry and biotechnology.
“The new training facility will be a perfect complement to the research centre, providing industry and other training providers with a facility that will enable sophisticated training and applied research and development activities to take place.”
Dr Gallop said WA’s petroleum industry (oil, gas and condensate) was worth $9.2billion in 2003-04, accounting for 35 per cent of total mineral and petroleum production.
The Premier said the industry was in an unprecedented period of sustained growth, with future high levels of industry activity expected to keep demand for skilled workers strong.
The concept for the new centre was a real-life example of industry, education sectors and Government working together to look at ways in which skills demand can be best met to create a better future for the industry, the people of WA and the nation.
“Our priority is to ensure the skills needs of industry are met and that employment opportunities for Western Australians are maximised so that we can all share in the benefits of the growing resources industry,” Dr Gallop said.
“This new facility has significant support and commitment from industry, TAFEWA and WA’s university sector.
“The commitment from industry includes ensuring a minimum number of training places, providing training expertise, input into curriculum and learning materials and contributions towards specialist plant and equipment.
“The centre will also help link the vocational and higher education sectors, enabling the creation of education and training pathways that will allow students to maximise their full potential.”
The Premier said his Government's responsible economic management and four years of balanced Budgets had enabled the world-class training facility to be built.
"The previous Liberal Government had five deficits in eight years, running down the State," he said.
"In contrast, our strong financial performance has seen an extra $1.551billion poured into the education and training budget in our first four years - that is 26.5 per cent more than the last four years of the previous Liberal Government.”
Dr Gallop said the new facility would include the relocation of the existing ACEPT facility in Subiaco to Henderson.
“The Henderson site offers advantages in that there is land readily available and there is room to expand and potentially enhance the oil and gas project by linking it with related training areas such as engineering,” he said.
“It will also be possible to provide real-time simulator links between Karratha and Perth which will allow students in Karratha to access training at the new facility.
“This will further be complemented by video conferencing facilities with a view to enabling TAFEWA students to study and complete some of their qualifications entirely in Karratha.”
The centre will be managed in partnership with the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) Industry Board, chaired by Keith Spence, chief operating officer, Woodside Energy Ltd.
The project is to be funded under the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) Infrastructure Program.
The ACEPT will be hosted by Challenger TAFE on behalf of its ACEPT partner TAFEWA Colleges, Central TAFE, Swan TAFE, Pilbara TAFE, South West Regional College of TAFE and Central West College of TAFE.
Advertising for project management services will begin tomorrow, Wednesday December 1.
Premier's office: 9222 9475