UB Industry Skills Centre launched 

UNIVERSITY of Ballarat’s new one-stop TAFE shop concept caught the attention of Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency’s boss so much, he wanted to inspect it for himself.

AWPA chairman Philip Bullock, whose agency serves as a government advisory body, visited the university’s SMB campus this week  for the launch of its new Industry Skills Centre.

The centre will consolidate apprenticeship and traineeship courses to help better serve and engage employers in a variety of skills sectors and try to better address high-need areas.

Classes will remain based at the university’s SMB and Gillies Street campuses and engineering students will be pooled together in the new Manufacturing Technology Training Centre to be opened next year.

Mr Bullock described the project as a great initiative.

“I’m very passionate about the skills area and coming up here because, truthfully, I’m very impressed with the type of thinking,” Mr Bullock said.

“It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, they’re all going through some type of restructure.

“We’re always looking for ways to do things more effectively, to deliver better.”

University of Ballarat dean (manufacturing and construction) Barry Wright will direct the new skills centre.

The associate professor was excited about the new and emerging technology and teaching the university could offer by drawing about 27 trades together.

For employers and students, it would mean dealing with one TAFE body, rather than negotiating separate schools.