Wheatbelt training facilities overhauled to meet industry need

  • Central Regional TAFE’s Northam campus to get $2 million upgrade
  • Campus upgrades will deliver more training opportunities for local secondary students
  • New facilities will upskill and train locals to meet the needs of the Wheatbelt workforce 
  • As part of the Rebuilding our TAFEs plan, the Education and Training Minister was at Central Regional TAFE’s Northam campus today to announce a $2 million project to modernise the campus.

    Current facilities, which include light automotive, metals and construction workshops, will be replaced with contemporary training facilities and upgraded equipment to meet industry needs.

    The enhanced learning environments will ensure Wheatbelt students are trained to be job-ready in industry areas essential to the region including building and construction, metal fabrication, automotive and engineering. 

    Additionally, the upgraded workshops will be integral to the region’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) Delivered to Secondary Students programs, offering pathways into apprenticeships such as agricultural machinery technology and heavy commercial fitting.

    The Northam campus spend is part of a $167.4 million investment in capital works projects, announced by Premier Mark McGowan last week, which will see five Western Australian TAFE colleges significantly upgraded.

    As part of the McGowan Government’s commitment to regional WA, more than half of the total spend has been allocated to projects at regional TAFE colleges.

    The capital works projects, key to the State Government’s $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs plan, will deliver state-of-the-art learning opportunities for students and boost the Western Australian economy by generating jobs.

    The new state-of-the-art training facilities will meet demand for more skilled workers in the region by expanding training options.

    The State Government has recently increased the number of half price courses available, as part of the Lower fees, local skills initiative. Initially launched in January, the initiative halved the cost of training for 34 high priority qualifications. In July, the program was expanded to include an additional 39 courses slashed by up to 72 per cent and 15 free TAFE short courses to align with the State’s immediate economic needs following COVID-19.

    The courses with reduced fees are also targeted at job opportunities that relate to capital works initiatives such as the Rebuilding our TAFEs plan.

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “The McGowan Government is giving students in the Wheatbelt region access to state-of-the-art trade workshops and equipment as part of our work to improve training options in regional areas and aid WA’s economic recovery.

    “This upgrade will enhance trades training and job readiness for the local students including 57 apprenticeships across a range of industries, such as building and construction, metal fabrication, automotive and other engineering specialisations.

    “As the economy recovers, we will continue to focus on upskilling and training Western Australians to get them back to work in areas that will drive economic activity across the State.”

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