New $22 million trades workshops open at Albany TAFE

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State Government's $22 million investment in modern TAFE facilities in the region.
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A group of automotive students with automotive lecturer in high visibility gear gathered around an open car hood for an inspection.

Vocational students are training in new trades workshops at South Regional TAFE's (SRT) Albany campus, thanks to the State Government's $22 million investment in modern TAFE facilities in the region.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk officially opened the new state-of-the-art workshops at SRT's Albany campus today, replacing ageing 50-year-old trade facilities to provide a contemporary training setting in line with industry needs.

In a major boost, the new workshops will provide young people and local job seekers in the Great Southern region with access to specialist trades training locally, with student capacity expected to increase by approximately 20 per cent.

The new workshops will be used to deliver training in traditional trades such as light and heavy automotive, metals and engineering, building and construction, and electrical and plumbing.

The project also included relocating and upgrading the existing skills training workshop and establishing a new classroom for essential safety training like working at heights and entering and working in confined spaces. A separate project is being initiated to enable the transformation of an existing structure into a new carpentry and joinery workshop for the precinct.  

Albany-based architectural firm H+H Architects designed the project, with local builder Wauters Building Company employing more than 200 workers - including apprentices and trainees - to complete construction.

As part of an initiative of SRT's Reconciliation Action Plan, the new facilities will be named the Kinjarling Trades Workshops, in recognition of the local Noongar name for Albany. The naming aims to increase the understanding, value and recognition of local Aboriginal culture, history, knowledge and rights through culturally-appropriate learning.

The project is part of the State Government's record $250 million investment in TAFE infrastructure to ensure WA TAFE colleges have the state-of-the-art facilities they need to provide high-quality, industry-relevant training to all Western Australians.

This investment is complemented by the State Government's $25 million TAFE Modern Equipment program being rolled out across Western Australia's TAFE network, which has provided two new electric vehicles and one new hybrid vehicle for SRT's Albany campus.

Valued at $152,000, the new electric and hybrid vehicles are examples of the modern, real-world equipment TAFE students train with to develop their skills, enabling them to be 'job-ready' once they complete their qualification.

In addition, SRT's Albany campus has benefited from a total of $1.38 million in equipment through the TAFE Modern Equipment program, including a 3D printer, drone, skid steer loader, on-ground mobile brake tester and industrial process laboratory.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Simone McGurk said, "The State Government's $22 million investment in South Regional TAFE's Kinjarling Trades Workshops is a huge boost for trades training in the region, helping us to train local people for local jobs and get more boots on the ground.

"Developing the regional workforce - so we have skilled tradespeople such as electricians, engineers, motor mechanics, metal fitters and machinists and plumbers - is vital to diversifying WA's economy as we move towards a clean energy future.

"The project is expected to boost the capacity for training delivery, enabling access for approximately 20 per cent more students. It will also provide a training hub for the next generation of automotive, engineering, construction, electrical and plumbing workers for the region.

"The State Government has made a significant investment of a quarter of a billion dollars to modernise TAFE colleges across the State - predominantly in regional areas - ensuring all Western Australian TAFE students are training in modern, world-class facilities that reflect what they will encounter in the workplace."

Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens added, "The Kinjarling Trades Workshops will enable even more locals to train close to home, gaining skills that will set them up for rewarding jobs in a variety of trades.

"The construction of the Kinjarling Trades Workshops created more than 225 local jobs, including roles for 40 apprentices and trainees, with 95 per cent of construction undertaken by regional businesses."

Read the full media statement here