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WA selected for first TAFE Clean Energy Skills National Centre of Excellence

The Albanese and Cook Governments are jointly investing $70.5 million over five years to establish Australia’s first TAFE Clean Energy Skills National Centre of Excellence in Western Australia.

The centre will operate across the WA TAFE network and be a skills leader in clean energy science, engineering, construction, and operation.

Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor said the $70 million investment highlights the importance of developing clean energy skills for the the net zero transition and a Future Made in Australia.

“This Centre of Excellence in WA will help develop high-quality, responsive skills training in the critical and rapidly evolving clean energy economy.

“Working with States and Territories, we’re establishing up to 20 TAFE Centres of Excellence that will help respond to our most critical national skills needs,” said O’Connor.

The Clean Energy Skills National Centre of Excellence will:

  • Innovate training in clean energy technologies, including solar, wind, hydrogen, batteries and grid integration, and fast-track development and delivery of higher and degree-equivalent apprenticeship pathways.
  • Equip students with practical skills and knowledge-based capabilities to support innovation in the clean energy sector.
  • Build on existing collaborations between WA TAFEs, universities, and industry to co-design industry relevant training programs, facilitate applied research, and strengthen entry pathways between VET and higher education.
  • Partner with industry to drive skill development and support participation of more Western Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and women, in clean energy jobs.
  • Network with TAFEs in other states and leverage partnerships with universities, Jobs and Skills Councils, employers, and unions to build the clean energy skills base across Australia.

The Centre of Excellence will expand access to clean energy skills training opportunities at TAFE campuses in metropolitan Perth and in regional areas including Kalgoorlie, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha, and Broome.

WA premier, Roger Cook said as a state, WA has ambitious plans for clean energy.

“As we leverage WA’s natural advantages to become a global clean energy powerhouse, the transition will offer a range of exciting opportunities for Western Australians to pursue careers and take up quality jobs of the future.

“It is important that we are at the forefront of best practice in skilling and upskilling our workers for the clean energy jobs that will support the transition, with the world’s eyes looking to WA as our people and industries lead the charge towards a clean energy future,” said Cook.

A hub and spoke model will harness and develop the capability of WA TAFEs and training providers for thousands of Western Australians to skill up for our clean energy future.

Increasing the number of apprentices, particularly in trades such as electrical, engineering, automotive mechanical, metal fitting and machining is vital to developing skills needed to reach net zero by 2050.

Under the guidance of an Industry Advisory Board, the Centre of Excellence will create a front door for industry to access comprehensive training and workforce solutions.

The centre is set to help deliver a skilled workforce for strategically important industries to meet national challenges.

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