RMIT: Getting on the tools: Vocational Education students to learn the future of trades on new equipment

RMIT’s building and trade students will have access to state-of-the-art tools and equipment, following the announcement of a quarter-of-a-million-dollar grant from the Victorian Government’s TAFE Equipment and Facilities Fund (TEFF), announced last week.

The grant – worth $259,125 – will be used at RMIT’s Bundoora campus to fit-out existing spaces and refresh equipment for the University’s building and trade apprentice and pre-apprentice students, ensuring they have access to the same modern tools and machinery they’ll be working with on the job and into the future.

RMIT’s College of Vocational Education Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Mish Eastman said the University has an ambitious plan to expand its programs and presence in traditional trades at its Bundoora campus, as demand for skilled workers in Victoria’s construction industry rises exponentially.

“Aligned to the Victorian government’s Big Build agenda, RMIT will increase the pipeline of highly skilled trades and construction workers in Victoria, specifically in our northern corridor” she said.

“We’re providing our students with the skills they need – and access to new state-of-the-art equipment – to be able to learn and upskill for the jobs of the future and predicted growth in the sector.”

The significant funding announcement was made last week during a visit to the trades workshop at RMIT’s Bundoora campus by State Member for Bundoora, Colin Brooks MP and Director of Apprenticeships Victoria, Franklin O’Carroll.

Australian government figures predict 80,000 workers will be needed in Australia’s construction industry in the next five years.

Victoria’s Big Build is a part of this infrastructure boom and includes all the major road and rail projects that are set to transform the way we travel in this state. Some of these projects include the Metro Tunnel, the Regional Rail Revival, the North-East Link and the Melbourne Airport Rail.

RMIT offers pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship courses in three trade disciplines: electrical and instrumentation, plumbing and gas-fitting, and refrigeration and air-conditioning.

The state government funding boost will further equip RMIT’s College of Vocational Education with the tools and machinery it needs to provide high-quality modern apprenticeships and training, including work benches, welding bays, hand tools and laser levels, at its Bundoora campus.

RMIT trades pre-apprentice student Amin Eltoum said the grant will enhance students’ job readiness by giving them first-hand experience with the tools and machinery currently being used across Australia’s booming construction industry.

“The announcement means a lot to us because we’re going to have access to the same tools and facilities that we would be using on the job site,” Amin said.

“So, we’re going to be ready to work onsite, straight away,” he said.

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