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Course moving Queensland workers into the future

TAFE Queensland is offering a course to train experienced engineering workers in the skills of tomorrow.

TAFE Queensland’s first Diploma of Applied Technologies (22460VIC) students have graduated from the Higher Level Apprenticeship course which was the first of its kind in the state. The course delivered on its promise to ready participants for emerging skills demands and job opportunities associated with the fourth industrial revolution.

Bearing great relevance to the engineering and manufacturing industries, the course pilot provided participants with a mixture of workplace learning and cutting-edge training at campuses in Townsville and Brisbane. Skills aligned with automation and digitisation were the focus of the pilot which provided participants with a leg up on their competition moving forward.

Townsville boilermaker Donnelly Madden was one of the pilot students and reported learning new, more efficient ways to complete tasks, “it is taking my boilermaking to a different standard and it’s opened up a lot of opportunities to make processes and tasks simpler, safer, and more connected," he said.

The course’s second intake began learning in early September 2022 in North Queensland, and there are still places available for the intake starting early October 2022 in Brisbane at the TAFE Queensland Eagle Farm campus.

TEi Services, a general engineering workshop for steel fabrication and machining, employs around 50 people, including 12 apprentices. The business has been operating in North Queensland for more than 50 years, exporting products domestically and internationally.

Richard Parker, the company’s general manager, said it is crucial that training like the Diploma of Applied Technologies (22460VIC) is available to help workers upskill and support businesses.

"As newer technologies are incorporated into tooling, new skills and knowledge is required and having that knowledge in-house is advantageous. There are current skill gaps in our region and these gaps will only get wider if we don’t keep up with technology," Richard said.

He continued to explain the benefits to tradespeople of automation within the workshop, “technology can be used for repetitive and mundane activities allowing us to redeploy skilled labour to creative tasks."

TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mary Campbell said of the Higher Level Apprenticeship course, “Our training will help apprentices to gain the very latest skills in automation and digitisation from product design to manufacture which will in turn support the future growth of a range of industries throughout Queensland.”