LEARNING is about to get a lot easier for TAFE students on the Gold Coast, with the state government announcing it will spend $1 million to upgrade the city’s Ashmore campus.
The funding will see Ashmore TAFE roll out a raft of new advanced trade classes for students studying engineering, electrical, plumbing and welding courses.
Minister for Training and Employment Shannon Fentiman said facilities would be upgraded to ensure students received the most up-to-date training to equip them for long-term and secure jobs.
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“Stage One is already underway and students will soon have access to state-of-the-art welding bays,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Stage Two will include new welders, LED lighting and even more upgraded equipment.”
Ms Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government was determined to increase the number of apprenticeships and traineeships undertaken in Queensland.
“This State Government is investing in a range of programs including fee-free places in training for students leaving year 12 [and] direct subsidies for employers to take on apprentices and trainees,” she said.
“Because of these programs we have seen impressive results with thousands of Queenslanders finding a job.
“When we think about engineering, we often think about the old ways of manufacturing but with these upgrades and excellent teachers, we are very much training students for a future that includes high-tech tools such as drone technology.”
Ms Fentiman said she was disappointed at the federal government’s plans to rip $40 million from vocational training in Queensland in the upcoming Federal Budget.
“In the Federal Budget in a couple of weeks, the Prime Minister plans to rip $40 million from vocational training in our State,” she said.
“Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has written to Malcolm Turnbull, telling him that this would not only crush the future for tens of thousands of our young people but that it creates uncertainty for mums, dads and families who want to help create a vocational path for their children.
“I’ve written to the Federal assistant minister Karen Andrews and it’s disappointing that she hasn’t acted to make sure that TAFE students on the Gold Coast and across Queensland have secure access to vocational training.
“It’s been more than a year since the Federal Government invested anything in Queensland and jobs are at risk if Karen Andrews doesn’t fight for Queenslanders to get our $40 million back.
“I flat out refuse to sign a dud deal with Malcolm Turnbull that will not benefit Queenslanders.”
Ms Fentiman has urged Ms Andrews to “stand up” for her state.
“We know that these young people want to work,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We know that the jobs are there, especially in the area of construction, in tourism and in hospitality but tearing up training contracts for apprentices and trainees means that we are facing a looming skills shortage.
“We have the people – what we don’t have is the backing of the Federal Government and that’s why I’m calling on Karen Andrews to stand up for her State and jobs for our residents.
“That is why investing in training courses such as those offered by TAFE colleges across Queensland is so important.”