A major milestone for a new dedicated health and hospitality training centre in the Kimberley region has been reached, with a local construction company appointed and works starting on for tthe $6 million project.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery was in Kununurra today, to mark the commencement of construction at North Regional TAFE by Kimberley Green Constructions. Local businesses will be engaged throughout the project to maximise local employment opportunities, with plumbing, electrical and carpentry apprentices expected to be employed through the project.
The new facility will provide specialist training spaces for hospitality and tourism, nursing and aged and disability care; allowing NR TAFE to deliver National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) training in Kununurra to meet demand in the region. Among the many amenities, there will be a training kitchen with adjacent classroom that can be converted to a dining room for hands on event training, and NDIS simulated facilities for both home and residential care. The tourism space will include an art workshop and gallery space to provide training for tourism and cultural activities unique to the East Kimberley.
Construction at the Kununurra TAFE campus is expected to be completed in October 2022.
The new training centre is part of the State Government’s $184.3 million record investment for essential infrastructure upgrades of WA's TAFE colleges, creating world class learning opportunities for students while generating a pipeline of jobs for Western Australians. In a further boost for the region’s workforce, Kimberley locals are also taking up affordable training opportunities offered through the State Government's Lower fees, local skills initiative, with a 34 per cent increase in enrolments in the region this year. Western Australian employers have also responded by taking on more apprentices and trainees in the Kimberley in 2021, with commencements up by 51 per cent in the 12 months to July 31 2021.
Following discussions with local business leaders at last month’s Kununurra–Kimberley Skills Summit, a local action will be developed and implemented. Business leaders identified increased promotion of local employment opportunities and more upskilling opportunities to help people improve their employability and boost the local workforce as regional priorities.
“The McGowan Government is committed to delivering local training in regional areas. “ said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "The $6 million project will also employ local workers during construction, boosting the local economy and creating meaningful jobs for Kimberley residents.”