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TAFE students help build $20.25m facility for SW TAFE

Big Build Apprenticeships

South West TAFE construction students will help build a multimillion-dollar Learning and Library Hub at the Warrnambool campus as part of the Victorian Government’s Big Build Apprenticeships program.

The project is one of the first under the Victorian Government’s $33 million Big Build Apprenticeships program which will be a training ground for the next generation of highly skilled construction workers in Victoria.

Local apprentices and trainees from SW TAFE will comprise 10 per cent of the construction workforce and work alongside professional contractors like builders, plumbers and electricians to gain real-life industry experience constructing the $20.25 million Learning and Library Hub.

The Big Build Apprenticeships program will provide 1,500 opportunities to Victorian apprentices and trainees each year for four years to kickstart their careers on some of the state’s largest projects, including the new Footscray Hospital and the North East Link.

It will help provide a strong pathway to the workforce and support employers by enhancing the pool of highly skilled workers in Victoria. School leavers and young people are encouraged to apply, with priority given to workers who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic, disadvantaged Victorians and those under-represented in the construction industry.

The $20.25 million Learning and Library Hub will be a state-of-the-art facility for students and the community, replacing the existing SW TAFE and Warrnambool libraries. It will be more than four times larger and feature study and meeting rooms, exhibition and display areas, a digital media zone, computer areas and a café.

The Victorian Government provided $16.3 million funding for the project, with Warrnambool City Council contributing $3.12 million and SW TAFE contributing $830,000. It is currently out to tender and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Since 2015, the Victorian Government has invested to rebuild TAFE, refurbish campuses, launch Free TAFE for Priority Courses and support disadvantaged students into training and jobs. A record $1 billion investment was made in the Victorian Budget 2020/21 to make sure the state has the training and skills system it needs to emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information on the apprenticeship program visit: https://www.vic.gov.au/big-build-apprenticeships-bba

Source: Vic Government

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