05/08/2010 - 00:00

$7m boost for apprenticeships

05/08/2010 - 00:00

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THE electrical and telecommunications industry is set to boost to its workforce numbers after the official opening of a $7 million dollar purpose-built training facility.

$7m boost for apprenticeships

THE electrical and telecommunications industry is set to boost to its workforce numbers after the official opening of a $7 million dollar purpose-built training facility.

The College of Electrical Training will train an additional 500 electrical apprentices each year after expanding its existing Jandakot campus with the help of a $2.2 million federal government grant.

The college currently trains 2,000 students each year at its Jandakot and Balcatta locations, including post-trade electricians and contractors, and accounts for nearly 50 per cent of all electrical apprentices in WA.

CET is the largest private trainer of electrical apprentices in Australia and is part of the National Electrical and Communications Association Western Australia – the peak industry body representing electrical and communications contractors.

NECA WA group chief executive Peter Tuck said the association had doubled its membership in the past few years and that apprentice numbers were maintained through the GFC.

“Our hosts supported us so we could support our apprentices; that is a credit to them and our industry,” he said.

Mr Tuck said the college recently ran its first blended learning unit, which combines e-learning with practical experience.

CET general manager Geoff Hender said the new facility was good news for WA’s trade community and those interested in a career in the electrical industry.

“With huge government projects like the National Broadband Network, the opportunity for qualified tradespeople to develop a great career has never been better,” Mr Hender said in a statement.

Despite the college boasting a 98 per cent completion rate for its apprentices, Mr Tuck said the predicted trade shortfall was a concern and posed a serious risk to contractors’ ability to grow their businesses.

“As it takes four years to train a new electrical worker, NECA WA will focus on raising contractors’ awareness of this trend and encouraging them to determine how many [apprentices] they can train now in the lead up to 2012,” Mr Tuck told WA Business News.

Mr Tuck also announced that NECA WA had received an additional federal government grant for a proposed training facility in Joondalup, which he said would have a slightly different focus.

“Joondalup will be our base for training, not just in the north metro areas, but for regional and remote areas of WA as well,” Mr Tuck said.

 

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