Opportunities to train Western Australian apprentices, defence personnel and tradespeople will be significantly boosted, as the States largest fluid power institute in Midland has been launched.
Training and Workforce Development Minister Murray Cowper last week officially opened the Polytechnic West Fluid Power Institute, which is designed to offer specialist training to students who will get to use $1.2million worth of new training equipment.
Mr Cowper believes fluid power contributed to the State’s economic strength and the demand for more skilled workers, from the resources sector, was the leading factor behind the development of the new facility.
“Fluid power, the overarching term for pneumatics and hydraulics, is used to power machinery across many different industries including mining, agriculture, marine and aerospace,” he said.
“For example, within our iron ore industry, it is the backbone of the equipment that digs holes, transports materials, loads ships, crushes ore and operates bull dozers.Almost any piece of equipment used in producing or handling the ore will use fluid power.
The institute is equipped with two pneumatic laboratories, a hydraulics/pneumatic workshop and classrooms, plus a mobile facility to provide onsite hydraulics training throughout the State.
“This new institute puts WA at the forefront of the national fluid power field.”
The Minister said an innovative and vibrant training sector was crucial in meeting the State’s need for skilled workers.
“The creation of State Training Providers (STP), formerly known as TAFEs, has changed the landscape of Western Australia’s publicly funded training system,” Mr Cowper said.
“Our STPs now enjoy greater autonomy and are more responsive to industry needs, as demonstrated by Polytechnic West’sexciting new facility.”