The $5.4 million METRONET Trade Training Centre is now complete, with the first groups of electrical rail signalling trainees now using the facility at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Midland campus.
The new training centre was built to support training for jobs in the rail industry, including meeting the diverse training needs of the Western Australia State Government’s METRONET program.
Western Australia Training Minister, Simone McGurk, said, “The McGowan Government is committed to investing in world-class training facilities that deliver high-level training.
“The METRONET Trade Training Centre will provide practical training and ensure we have a pipeline of skilled workers required to support METRONET and WA’s wider rail network well into the future.
“We’re investing heavily in the State’s TAFE network to create contemporary, industry standard learning environments for all Western Australians.”
The METRONET Trade Training Centre also recognises the extensive private and public rail infrastructure that supports key drivers of the Western Australian economy, such as the resources and agricultural sectors.
The centre supports the delivery of a pipeline of workers to address skill shortages in highly technical roles that are critical to industry supply chains.
Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “Our Government is investing billions in new public transport infrastructure through METRONET, and this facility will ensure we have the skilled labour to maintain and manage our expanding track networks in the future.
“The METRONET program is creating thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses, making the METRONET Trade Training Centre an essential training facility and key element in supporting WA’s rail industry.”
Developed in close consultation with industry, the facility includes rail signalling workshops, a dual-track level crossing, a maintenance track and crossover, and a signalling equipment room to enable hands-on training. A section of rail line is in place for training in maintenance of various gauges of rail.
Reflecting industry standards, the centre has been the beneficiary of donated specialised equipment from some of the giants of the Western Australian rail sector.
Midland MLA, Michelle Roberts, said, “Trade training for the railway has returned to Midland thanks to this initiative. Many said it couldn’t be done, but the McGowan Government has delivered on its promise.
“This is a brilliant opportunity for our young people to get the skills to take up a trade that is very much in demand.”
Several groups of rail signalling technicians have started using the facilities for the Certificate IV in Rail Signalling.
From April 2023, up to 15 secondary school students will also benefit from the new facilities when they commence the Certificate II in Rail Infrastructure through the Vocational Education and Training Delivered to Secondary Students (VETDSS) program.
Students will be supported with local training for a range of projects, creating job opportunities for local workers, pre-apprentices and apprentices while upskilling workers for construction and maintenance of WA’s wider rail network as well as METRONET.
The centre is in addition to the WA State Government’s record $215.8 million investment in key infrastructure projects that continue to be rolled out at TAFE colleges across the State, creating world-class learning facilities for all Western Australians.