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New facilities support apprentice training in industry growth areas

TAFE Queensland will start training apprentices to build and service heavy machinery, caravans and recreation vehicles thanks to two brand new purpose-built facilities at TAFE Queensland's Acacia Ridge campus.

The new Acacia Ridge Heavy Plant (Automotive) Centre of Excellence and the Caravan Industry Training facilities, are part of $6.65 million upgrade to TAFE Queensland campuses and will help train more apprentices in cutting-edge technology and leading industry practices.

The construction of the new Caravan Industry Training Facility will cater for the growth in demand for recreational vehicles and the workers needed to build and maintain them. The caravan and recreational vehicle industry has been calling out for more workers and these new facilities will help fill the gap in the industry.

The new Heavy Plant Centre of Excellence will provide up-to-date industry relevant electronic and battery operated vehicles and machinery training which is a growing skill set needed across a number of sectors from light automotive, heavy commercial vehicles, mobile plant technology, civil construction, mining, transport and logistics.

TAFE Queensland Heavy Vehicle Industries Business Manager, Geoff Tillett said that as a future focused and trusted industry training partner, we are pioneering to deliver the training that industry needs to service and repair the hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles and machinery coming into Australia at an increasing volume.

“As a result of this increase comes the risk of having unskilled and unqualified people within this industry working on high voltage and high amperage battery electric vehicles,” Mr Tillett said.

“The skills and knowledge learnt at our new Heavy Plant Centre of Excellence will be essential to complete work on electronic and battery operated vehicles and machinery to the highest safety and service standards.”

“TAFE Queensland aims to ensure industry is safe when it comes to working on new electronic and battery operated vehicles and machinery and to ensure our employers and apprentices have both the current and contextualised training they require,” he said.

Both facilities are building on TAFE Queensland’s industry partnerships to focus their training on preparing Queensland apprentices for the future jobs that industry will require.

Christian Batic from Cambooya said that he became a qualified heavy commercial vehicle mechanic after studying with TAFE Queensland and now he is back to complete the Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology (AUR31216) with some of his workmates from Mader Contracting.

“I’m really excited about getting my second qualification through TAFE Queensland and it’s great to be doing that training at such a great facility,” Mr Batic said.

“I’ve worked at a mine in Western Australia as a heavy vehicle mechanic and becoming a dual-trade worker is just going to give me that ability to work more widely across other industries and in different roles.

“The training I’ll get from SkillsTech at the new facilities will really help put me at the front of my industry.”