$2 million drives new ‘green’ Automotive Centre of Excellence

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Minister Fentiman meeting Engineering Mechanical Trade Diesel Fitting apprentice Hudson Allard-Delahunt
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TAFE Queensland’s SkillsTech is set to become home of the Automotive Centre of Excellence for training in heavy vehicle trades and new hybrid and autonomous technologies.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman today announced $2 million for construction of the new centre, which is due to start in November.

“As Queensland moves towards a greener future, more and more of our transport and heavy machinery will also be replaced by hybrid models,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This investment will see TAFE Queensland partnering with industry to focus their training on preparing Queenslanders for a greener, cleaner tomorrow.”

“The new facilities will provide world class training facilities for the hybrid and autonomous vehicle industry using new machinery which produces lower emissions.”

“The centre will have the capacity to cater for more than 30 students at a time with three heavy plant workshop bays, two vehicle testing spaces and a test cell observation space.”

“There will also be two classrooms and a virtual classroom to allow for simulated training.”

Member for Stretton Duncan Pegg said the $2 million funding was part of more than $13 million being spent on infrastructure upgrades at the Acacia Ridge campus in 2019-20.

“In addition to the $2 million for construction, TAFE Queensland will be investing in new state of the art equipment allowing students to train using the latest in hybrid and autonomous technologies,” Mr Pegg said.

Member for Toohey Peter Russo said this project is in addition to the construction of a new $650,000 Caravan Industry Training Facility to cater for the growth in demand for recreational vehicles.

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“The investment at Acacia Ridge is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s more than $105 million investment to renew and expand TAFE campuses across Queensland,” Mr Russo said.

“We need to plan for the future of Queensland and ensure we have the skilled workers now and for the emerging industries such as the caravan industry and hybrid vehicle training.”

Ms Fentiman met heavy vehicle apprentices training at Acacia Ridge campus as part of her visit.

“The Premier and I unveiled the free apprenticeships initiative at yesterday’s launch of the new Skills for Queensland plan, Great Training for Quality Jobs,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Our $32 million investment in free apprenticeships will support local businesses to take on more apprentices and trainees.

“Right now, businesses bear the cost for training an apprentice and we will be removing this expense for employers across 139 apprenticeships and traineeships, including qualifications in heavy vehicle and mobile plant technologies.”

Image Credit: Image Provided