The Andrews Labor Government has announced $1.3 million for additional TAFE training, to be delivered in Werribee by Victoria University Polytechnic.

Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas said the funding boost will provide equipment to help students enrolled in Certificate III in Civil Construction gain on-the-job skills required for Victoria’s infrastructure projects.

This course is part of the Victorian Government’s TAFE Free for Priority Courses initiative.

The program, being delivered in partnership with the builder of the West Gate Tunnel Project, CPB John Holland includes equipment to support training in a tunnel simulated environment for students to gain vital experience to take up jobs on the Labor Government’s major infrastructure projects.

Funding will also be used to develop customised learning and assessment resources for students.

To accommodate the additional training needs of the West Gate Tunnel Project, Victoria University has reopened its Werribee East campus as a technology precinct centred on civil construction.

The program is being funded under the Regional and Specialist Training Fund, part of the Victorian Government’s Skills First initiative, which is delivering training to respond to industry-led demand for specific skills in regions and specialist areas that are not being adequately met by the current training market.

The West Gate Tunnel will create more than 6,000 jobs, including 500 jobs for apprentices, trainees and graduates, under the Victorian Major Project Skills Guarantee.

Thousands of Victorians are on the way to getting the skills they need to secure jobs in high-demand industries, with 13,500 students enrolled Free TAFE courses, driving a 60 per cent increase in commencements compared to the same TAFE courses at the same time last year.

Students can save up to $2,500 for some pre-apprenticeship courses and up to $5,000 for Certificate IV courses. For higher level courses such as a Diploma in Nursing or a Diploma in Building and Construction, students will save more than $10,000 through the Free TAFE initiative.

Quotes Attributable to Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas MP

“The Andrews Labor Government is proud to be investing in this innovative project that will play a key role in ensuring we have the skilled civil construction workers Victoria needs to help deliver the state’s big projects, including the West Gate Tunnel.”

“The tunnelling equipment will provide students with an important opportunity to get practical training and experience that will provide a stepping stone for future employment.”