A new Manufacturing Centre of Excellence has been opened in Burnie, part of the response to Caterpillar Underground Mining’s decision to move manufacturing to Thailand.
The ABC reports that the training and research centre will be managed by the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council, and is available to businesses, schools, TAFE and others for upskilling.
It was assisted by $400,000 from the Tasmanian Liberal Government, via the Caterpillar Transition Taskforce.
“The Elphinstone Group (Aust) will own and operate the simulated work environment (SWE), the largest in the southern hemisphere. This will be available for industry and the community to undertake LEAN and continuous improvement training,” said Jeremy Rockliff, the state’s education minister, in a statement.
“The opening of the Tasmanian Manufacturing Centre of Excellence delivers on the Tasmanian Government’s commitment in the recently released Tasmanian Advanced Manufacturing Action Plan for greater representation, collaboration and support to the manufacturing sector in the state.”
Located at a former TasTAFE building, it is funded for three years.
Caterpillar announced in April last year that it was outsourcing manufacture to Rayong, Thailand, shedding 280 jobs in a region with already-high unemployment.