Friday, June 21, 2024

Boost to TAFE training to build on defence industry

WA TAFE students are set to train with state-of-the-art defence industry equipment as part of an $18 million State Government plan to boost the local defence industry workforce.

The Government this week unveiled four new computer numerical control (CNC) milling and lathe machines at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Rockingham campus.

WA Premier, Mark McGowan said the new state-of-the-art CNC machines will support training in blue collar trades needed for the maritime defence industry.

“Providing TAFEs with modern equipment for students to train on, and prepare for a seamless transition to the workforce, is crucial to support the reskilling and upskilling of veterans, existing defence workers and new entrants to the industry,” the Premier said.

Defence Industry Minister, Paul Papalia said Western Australia was Australia’s frontline for defence in the Indo-Pacific region and a key contributor to defence requirements nationally.

“Our defence industry is competitive, flexible and resilient and our advanced manufacturing capabilities and world-class tertiary institutions are contributing to its strength,” the Minister said.

“Key areas of focus for the McGowan Government are future-proofing the State’s sovereign workforce and creating opportunities for veterans to transition into defence industry jobs with wraparound support and guidance.”

The new CNC machines are part of the recently announced Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022-27.

Benefits of the technology for industry include its potential to produce larger quantities of parts with less manual labour while reducing the risk of human error or injury. It can also reduce the time required to machine important parts (for example, a pump shaft for a vessel of any size or shape) by up to 50%.

The investment also enables South Metropolitan TAFE, which was awarded Academic Institution of the Year at the Australian Defence Industry Awards in September, to deliver post-trade training in advanced CNC operations and programming above Certificate III level. This includes delivery of two of seven new low-fee Defence Ready Skill Sets that the State Government has made available to help make existing workers defence-ready.

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