Stirling Skills bid secures ATC

THE Stirling Skills conglomerate has succeeded in its bid for one of the Federal Government’s Australian Technical Colleges.The group, which included representation from the cities of Armadale and Gosnells, and the Armadale Redevelopment Authority, had been in competition with the Kwinana and Rockingham councils to secure funding for the Perth South ATC, one of two allocated to Western Australia. The new college will open in 2007 and have two campuses to be situated in Maddington, with the possibility of extensions in coming years, according to the Minister for Vocational and Technical Education Gary Hardgrave. With support from the Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association, Royal Automobile Club, Motor Industry Training Association, and the Civil Contractors’ Federation, the ATC plans to offer training in the automotive and construction industries initially, with training in electro-technology and metals or engineering planned.The funding is part of a Federal Government election promise to provide 24 ATCs around the country at a cost of $344 million over five years. Despite WA being promised two ATCs, in July the state missed out on a funding announcement for the first tranche of 12 new colleges.Announcing the successful bid with Mr Hardgrave were federal members for Hasluck and Canning, Stuart Henry and Don Randall, whose respective seats include the city councils involved in the proposal.Mr Henry, former executive director of the apprenticeship and training division of the Master Plumbers and Painters Association, said the local community and businesses would benefit from the skills opportunities and greater career alternatives that the ATC will provide.City of Gosnells Mayor Patricia Morris said the Federal Government’s decision came as a result of the city providing clear evidence of the needs of its young people, the opportunity for business development and the availability of suitable infrastructure.

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