UB to create industry skills centre

UNIVERSITY of Ballarat will launch its new-look Industry Skills Centre this week.

The university’s restructured TAFE system will consolidate programs into a “one-stop shop” for skills training.

Programs will be based in existing buildings at the university’s SMB campus, including the new Manufacturing Technology Training Centre, and at Gillies Street.

Deputy vice-chancellor of schools and programs Andy Smith said the skills centre aimed to bolster apprenticeships and traineeships and address the need for growing demand for apprentices in the region.

The centre would also offer employers, apprentices and trainees a single point of contact for training needs.

“Our Industry Skills Centre will bring training in the critical needs of the nation under one roof and enable employers in vast variety of industry sectors to ensure that they have the trained workforces they need to thrive into the future,” Professor Smith said.

Building and construction, engineering, automotive, hospitality, agriculture and horticulture, hairdressing and beauty therapy are key skills included in the centre.

The new manufacturing technology centre will open and be added to the skills centre next year.

University of Ballarat’s initiative prompted Victorian opposition policy announced last week to work with TAFEs in creating similar one-stop industry skill hubs.

Such proposed centres were announced as part of a Labor skills package and pledge to invest in TAFE funding.

Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight said funding TAFE would be Labor’s first budget priority with additional funding coming from savings obtained from the “Crackdown on unscrupulous providers”.

“The Baillieu Government has torn the heart out of TAFE in Victoria,” Ms Knight said.

“This has caused significant pain across the state and Labor is committed to making sure the doors of TAFEs remain open to all Victorians.”

Ms Knight said the newly unveiled Labor plan would prevent TAFEs from raising fees or course cuts.

Australian Workplace and Productivity Agency chairman Philip Bullock will launch the University of Ballarat’s Industry Skills Centre on Friday evening  at the university’s SMB campus.

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