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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Canberra CIT to have Australia’s first TAFE Centre of Excellence

The Canberra Institute of Technology will host Australia’s first TAFE Electric Vehicle (EV) Centre of Excellence. It will form part of the Fyshwick Future Energy Skills Hub.

The Federal and ACT Governments will each invest $9.7 million.

Politicians say the Centre of Excellence will provide innovative world class training for a future EV workforce, and develop new diploma and degree apprenticeship pathways for industries developing, operating and maintaining EVs and related technology.

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Centre of Excellence will train mechanics, technicians, and developers of light and heavy vehicles and mobile plant technology, hydrogen vehicles, and associated fields such as charging infrastructure installation and maintenance.

The Centre will network with TAFEs in other states and leverage partnerships with universities, tripartite Jobs and Skills Councils, and industry to increase EV uptake and the transition to net zero.

The Centre of Excellence will build on CIT’s collaboration with the Australian National University to develop a dual qualification (VET and higher education) engineering apprenticeship.

Tesla, Komatsu, and the tripartite Australian Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance will be involved.

“This announcement affirms CIT’s position as a major partner in the delivery of training to support the electrification of the ACT economy for a more sustainable Canberra,” CIT interim CEO Christine Robertson said.

“The funding will enable CIT to upgrade and scale our operations to support the rapid growth of the sector and the ACT Government’s Net Zero by 2045 target.

“The CIT Electric Vehicle Centre of Excellence will support diversification of our operations to address key qualification and skills gaps and grow the number of skilled workers required to service light and heavy EVs across our nation.

“CIT is a leader in the delivery of skills to support the EV sector. Our EV Centre of Excellence will continue to strengthen partnerships with the national TAFE network, the automotive industry, Jobs and Skills Councils, Universities, and the broader electrification and renewable energy industry sector to ensure a united approach to the design of training to meet current and emerging skills needs of this sector.

“CIT would like to thank the ACT and Federal Governments for their support in our successful submission for this Centre of Excellence, which recognises CIT as a leader in the delivery of training to meet skills needs for our community.”

The Federal Government is investing $325 million under the five-year National Skills Agreement that began on 1 January, to establish a network of up to 20 TAFE Centres of Excellence in areas of high skills needs, to help deliver a skilled workforce for strategically important industries to meet national challenges. This includes $4.8 million to accelerate the creation of the Centre of Excellence, due to the urgent need to increase use of EVs in transitioning to a net zero economy.

As part of the Federal Government’s $50 million TAFE Technology Fund, which upgrades and expands TAFE facilities, CIT will also receive $3.2 million to update automotive facilities for EV training at its Fyshwick campus and to purchase new equipment for students to train with cars and medium and heavy electric vehicles.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said: “The ACT Government has been at the forefront of electric vehicle training and skills courses to prepare Canberrans for the jobs of the future.

“As an early adopter, we are in a strong position to be the nation’s first state or territory to secure a TAFE Centre of Excellence through the Canberra Institute of Technology.

“There are a number of emerging opportunities over the coming decades that will create more jobs in renewables and increase demand for skilled workers.

“This new Centre of Excellence will ensure our workforce is prepared for the transition to the new economy and tackle broader national and local skills shortages.

“Investing in skills and training in these industries is a key part of our plan to deliver 300,000 jobs by 2030.”

ACT Minister for Skills and Training, Chris Steel said: “In 2020, ACT Labor committed to deliver EV training at CIT to support and maintain the progressive electrification of private and publicly owned vehicles.

“Since then, our electric vehicle training lab and the staff at CIT have proved they can deliver nation-leading training to prepare apprentices and workers for the jobs of the future.

“Importantly, these two new investments will allow us to upgrade facilities, and partner with universities and industry to scale up training and expand courses to medium and heavy electric vehicles.

“This is truly remarkable work, and it’s a testament to what we can achieve for our city when Federal Labor and ACT Labor Governments work together.”

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