TAFE debacle must not sink shipbuilding skills

The State Liberals are demanding the Premier Jay Weatherill assumes direct responsibility for TAFE SA’s bid to provide training courses to the Federal Government’s Naval Shipbuilding College in South Australia.

TAFE SA, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of South Australia and the Defence Teaming Centre have formed the Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium to bid to provide training courses to the Naval Shipbuilding College.

“It is critical that the TAFE SA debacle doesn’t derail the Consortium’s bid to provide shipbuilding skills training courses to the Naval Shipbuilding College,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“The establishment of the Maritime Shipbuilding College provides an excellent opportunity for South Australian organisations to become leaders in the provision of training courses for the naval shipbuilding industry.

“It would be an act of economic vandalism if the Weatherill Government’s mishandling of the TAFE debacle sinks the bid from the Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium.

“Minister Close has proved incapable of managing skills training and the Premier needs to bring the resources of his office to ensure TAFE SA upholds its end of the bargain.

“The Weatherill Government’s decision to strip South Australia of industry training providers leaves no room for error on behalf of TAFE SA’s capability in securing the training courses for South Australian organisations.”

The Federal Government is investing $25 million into the college to be based in Adelaide and deliver world class training across the country in key areas such as steel fabrication, welding and naval engineering.

The Consortium, if successful, will deliver a defence-ready, and especially maritime-ready, workforce with skills in engineering, information and computer technology, and project management.

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