Plumber targets to go from pipe dream to reality thanks to trade training centre

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read
Media event for the Trades building in Pink Precinct. VIPs: The Hon Joel Bowden MLA, Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics; Minister for Business and Jobs; Minister for Skills, Training and International Education Prof Scott Bowman AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, CDU Mr Michael Hamilton, Pro Vice-Chancellor and CEO, CDU TAFE Ms Lisa Jenkinson, Executive Director, Aspire Design and Construction Additional attendees Mr Beau Johnson, Project Manager, Aspire Design and Construction Ms Pompea Sweet, A/g Executive Director Workforce, Skills and Migration, DITT Mr William Moir, Director Skills and VET Data, DITT Mr Suresh Job, Deputy Chief Executive, Trades and Primary Industries, CDU TAFE CDU Project Manager, Trevor Clark, Property and Facilities Students present: Stuart Yiwarr McGrath (Bachelor of Nursing) Yasmin Jarman (Bachelor of Laws)

Darwin is set to become a pipeline for Australia’s next generation of plumbers and carpenters as part of a new Trade Training Centre.

Construction has now commenced on the tradie-focused TAFE, which forms part of the Charles Darwin University Trades Precinct based at Casuarina.

The CDU Trade Training Centre classrooms will feature the latest tradie training tech, a heavy equipment precinct, a building assembly area, and an industrial-sized sandpit so students can develop hands-on skills before stepping on the job site.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman says the new TAFE will become a tradie production line to meet the needs of the Northern Territory construction sector, with an initial focus on developing more plumbers and carpenters.

“Our commitment to providing modern facilities for vocational education is evident in the new Trades Centre, which will prepare apprentices with skills they need to succeed,” Professor Bowman said.

“We want to support the construction industry here in the Territory with practical courses that can help address skills shortages, filling the need for qualified apprentices in trades essential for housing and infrastructure developments.”

Plumber focused facility to fill demand

Darwin-based building company Aspire Design and Construct plans to complete the $10 million project by late 2024, with Executive Director Lisa Jenkinson saying its initial carpentry and plumbing focus would help fill in-demand positions across the state.

“Carpentry and roof plumbing are key trades in the construction industry, and to have modern facilities will only enhance the successful completion of these trades to support NT growth now and more importantly, for many years to come,” she said.

“The NT economy relies on the construction industry, and we all need to support its growth. Many of these students will grow to be our future and become builders in their own right. We wish CDU the greatest success, our tradesmen and the industry leaders of the future.”

The TAFE’s construction is part of a bigger drive to grow the Territory’s workforce to help meet the NT’s infrastructure needs and future housing requirements.

New TAFE a tradie magnet

Northern Territory Minister for Skills, Training and International Education Joel Bowden says the government has invested $4.8 million towards the TAFE to attract tomorrow’s tradies to the NT.

“The Territory needs an innovative, capable and skilled workforce to meet industry demands, and we are committed to delivering more accessible training pathways for Territorians.

“The Northern Territory Government is investing in apprenticeships and traineeships to maximise job opportunities for Territorians and, to support business and industry build workforce they need now and into the future.”

CDU TAFE Vice-Chancellor Mike Hamilton said the university had taken trades training to another level by providing students with high-quality equipment, industry-relevant curriculum, and collaborations with the state’s top trade professionals.

“CDU TAFE aims to give Territorians unique training opportunities. The apprentices who train here will contribute their newfound skills back into NT businesses and improve the local workforce’s capacity to meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry,” he said.

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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.

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