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New Marine Centre of Excellence anchors in Coomera

TAFE Queensland will continue to be a major contributor to the marine industry as construction begins on the new $11.8 million Marine Centre of Excellence at Coomera.

Karen Dickinson, General Manager of TAFE Queensland on the Gold Coast said the state-of-the-art facility is the only one of its kind in the state and will help train and prepare the workforce for the anticipated growth in the superyacht and marine industry.

“This world-class facility will support students to develop world-leading skills and compete on a global stage. It's in the heart of the marine precinct which supports all facets of the marine industry right from the niche boat builders, the repair and maintenance services to the large superyacht activity," said Ms Dickinson.

“We know Queensland is a prime location for marine industry expansion, but that’s only possible with the skills and training in place and a workforce ready to take on this ocean of opportunities,” she said.

The facility will include five classrooms, workshops for electrical and mechanical work, fibreglass and lamination, marine textiles and upholstery, an outdoor boat workshop, welding facilities as well as student learning and breakout spaces.

It will accommodate up to 500 apprentices and international students studying Certificate III Marine Craft Construction (MEM30719), Certificate III in Marine Mechanical Technology (AUR30516) as well as maintenance and specialist superyacht training.

It will also provide pathways to apprenticeship programs in Marine through VET in schools and pre vocational programs.

Ms Dickinson said marine is in particularly high demand and is a high growth sector, and TAFE Queensland on the Gold Coast has seen an increase in enrolments to reflect this.

"Over the past 5 years, student enrolment numbers at the existing Coomera Marine campus located at Riviera has more than doubled, and we expect that to triple over the next two years," she said.

"In recent years we have also worked with more than 170 employers to train marine apprentices and as the marine industry continues to grow this new facility will be vital in ensuring TAFE Queensland can continue to supply a pipeline of skilled workers to meet the demands of industry."

The National Skills Needs List identifies apprentice shortages for boat builders and repairers and this centre will deliver the future skills needed to support industry growth including those outlined in the Queensland Superyacht Strategy.

TAFE Queensland's Marine Centre of Excellence is due for completion by mid-2022.