Int’l students embark on autonomous tech training in Collie’s WesTrac hub

Image credit: WesTrac

Regional Development Minister Don Punch has commended the WesTrac Technology Training Centre in Collie for a significant achievement as it opens its doors to its inaugural cohort of international students.

The visiting group from Toromont Cat, the Caterpillar Dealer in Eastern Canada, represents a significant milestone for this state-of-the-art training facility, the government said in a media statement.

Since its official opening in November 2020, over 500 students have honed their skills at this advanced training centre.

This marks the first instance of international students travelling to Collie for training due to COVID-related delays.

The Canadian group will spend eight days at the WesTrac Technology Training Centre in Collie to complete the Command for Haul Service training.

This program is designed for technicians responsible for servicing, maintaining, and calibrating the technology layer on Caterpillar autonomous haulage trucks.

Following their training in Collie, the students will continue their instruction with four days at WesTrac’s head office in Guildford.

The establishment of this training facility was made possible through a $2 million grant from the Collie Futures Fund.

An additional $1 million in State Government funding has been allocated to expand the range of training services provided.

The Collie Futures Fund’s goal is to diversify the local economy, offering new opportunities to the community as the town transitions from emissions-intensive industries.

Minister Punch expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing collaboration between the Cook Government, the community, and industry to ensure Collie’s future prosperity and create local jobs across various sectors.

“The centre is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, has trained up hundreds from WA and wider Australia, and is now attracting people from overseas,” Punch stated.

Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns highlighted the positive impact of hosting international students, emphasising the economic benefits to local accommodation and service providers, which, in turn, supports small businesses and the wider community.

“Collie is a great part of the world to be undertaking training – there are some incredible visitor attractions in the region like the Wellington Dam mega-mural and world-class network of adventure trail network,” Hanns said.

She concluded, “Most importantly, these international visitors will be supporting local accommodation and service providers boosting the local economy and supporting small businesses.”