UPGRADED TAFE New England facilities worth $5.7 million were officially opened by Education Minister Adrian Piccoli in Tamworth yesterday.
The project included the extension and refurbishment of the existing C Block to provide welding, fabrication and mechanical engineering workshops and additional classrooms.
The work was completed with funding of $4.8 million from the federal government, with the remainder funded by the NSW government.
The building, which can accommodate about 120 students, is used for apprentices and trainees across the New England region.
Stages one, two and three of the certificate III in engineering (metal fabrication and welding) and certificate III in engineering (fitting and machining) are available through the facility, as are post-trade qualifications.
The Tamworth campus is working on developing a four-year diploma in engineering course. Mr Piccoli said the refurbished facility would support the training of workers from a number of regional industries, including agriculture and mining.
“The project also included the construction of bays for gas-metal arc welding, computer numerical control facilities, project and assembly areas, a grinding room and fabrication shop, and a steel store and welding workshop. Other facilities that were refurbished included a basic hand and power tool area, a sheetmetal area and an oxy-cutting area,” Mr Piccoli said.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the Tamworth campus, which had more than 10,000 enrolments last year, played a vital role in the training of workers in the region.
“The competitive market for delivering training is becoming increasingly tight. To ensure TAFE continues to be a leader in the market space of registered training organisations, we need to continue to invest in TAFE,” he said.