New construction focused TAFE to help kick start tradie recruitment

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Plans for a new construction-focused TAFE in Victoria have been given the green light in a bid to bring more tradies into the industry.

The dedicated construction skills facility will open by 2028 in Melton and is predicted to become Victoria’s top location for trade education, providing access to world-class facilities and training.

The $55 million project will be delivered as part of the Victorian government’s Building Better TAFE Fund, with the facility eventually being home to more than 600 students.

The government has partnered with the Bendigo Kangan Institute to construct the new TAFE, which is scheduled to begin next year after a location is finalised.

The state-of-the-art education hub will provide a pipeline of new tradie recruits to help build the booming region, with the western suburbs set to grow by 900 million residents in the next 15 years.

New TAFE to help recruitment

Master Builders Association Victoria CEO Michaela Lihou told Build-it the new TAFE will help alleviate the labour shortages currently facing the trade industry.

“Construction is a significant contributor to our state and is underpinned by the skills and knowledge of our people,” she said.

“Providing training for our workforce is vital to the success of our industry, and opportunities to access high-quality training are welcomed by Master Builders Victoria.”

A Victorian Government spokesperson told Build-it that the TAFE would play an important role in the growth of Melbourne’s western suburbs.

“TAFE is central to ensuring we’ve got the pipeline of workers we need across health, infrastructure, education and hospitality,” they said.

Minister for Skills and TAFE Gayle Tierney said the Bendigo Kangan Institute’s history of providing high-quality construction and trades training meant it was the obvious choice to construct and operate the new campus.

“As Melton grows, we’re making sure people have access to great training opportunities close to home,” she said.

“Bendigo Kangan Institute’s new campus will deliver best practice training in the construction fields, without students having to travel long distances.”

Bendigo Kangan Institute CEO Sally Curtain told Build-it the new facility would have a tangible impact on Victoria’s tradie shortage.

“Our experience in the region and in delivering construction skills, combined with our strong industry partnerships, means we are well positioned to provide training that will create pathways to real jobs,” she said.

“We are pleased to partner with the Victorian Government to make skills and training more accessible.”

Helping a young population grow

The population of Melton is one of the youngest in the country, with 53 per cent of the residents aged under 35.

Member for Melton Steve McGhie says the construction of industry-focused education facilities alongside initiatives such as the fee-free TAFE program would give young Melbournians the tools they need to build a successful career in construction or any other field.

“We are excited to have more high-quality training opportunities for the residents of Melton to support even more students on their path to their dream careers.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.