Construction has started on a transformational project for Roebourne, with a significant upgrade to North Regional TAFE’s Minurmarghali Mia campus.
The $7.9 million project will deliver contemporary multi-purpose training facilities to the campus, which plays a key role in connecting the local Aboriginal community to vocational education and training.
The upgrade will include four new classrooms to replace the ageing transportable buildings, including an IT laboratory and art classroom; a new industry workshop for construction trades training; and an upgrade of the existing light automotive workshop.
The contract was awarded to Western Australian construction company Devlyn Australia, which will employ more than 200 workers throughout construction, as well as 16 apprentices and trainees. Lead architect Iredale Pederson Hook Architects were briefed to design culturally appropriate, contemporary facilities, and consulted extensively with the Roebourne community during planning stages to create diverse learning and job opportunities.
The major redevelopment of the adjacent Roebourne District High School will also be a boost for the region, both during construction and once complete.
There are currently more than 3,500 students in publicly funded vocational education and training courses in the Pilbara across TAFE and private providers – a 25 per cent increase on the same time last year.
The Pilbara community is also taking up the opportunity to access more affordable training through the WA State Government’s Lower fees, local skills initiative, which has seen a 31 per cent increase in the region.
Construction is expected to be completed in late 2022, with training to commence in January 2023.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “The Pilbara region is vital to Western Australia’s economic prosperity, and making local training available is an important part of building a skilled workforce. “At the same time it is ensuring people can stay in the regions, with strong support for the new training facilities to better equip local people to explore job opportunities. “The Government is investing a record $184.3 million to carry out significant TAFE upgrades across the State, creating world-class learning opportunities and generating a pipeline of jobs.”