Up to 600 people who complete Victoria University Polytechnic’s Certificates II, III or IV in Civil Construction are expected to end up working on the West Gate Tunnel project.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told a throng of media that it was a really proud day for him.
“It’s an exciting partnership that’s all about meaningful employment based on the skills we need right now and certainly into the future,” he said.
“The very important West Gate Tunnel … will create 6000 jobs and in order to find those workers, in order to make sure we can get this project built like so many others, we need to be investing in TAFE campuses and in TAFE courses just like those offered at Victoria University Polytechnic."
The Premier toured the campus at Sunshine along with Roads Minister Luke Donnellan and fellow State politicians Natalie Suleyman, Marsha Thomson, Cesar Melhem and Footscray candidate Katie Hall.
At least 10 per cent of the West Gate Tunnel workforce will be apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets.
“These trainees will be in the hunt for those 6000 jobs delivering that second river crossing and the massive widening of the West Gate Freeway," said the Premier.
“So much of our road and rail agenda is being built by TAFE-qualified Victorians and if we want to keep building those road and rail projects, we have to invest in a stronger TAFE."
“It’s a significant investment, not just to make TAFE like it used to be, but indeed to make TAFE better than it has ever been.”
Victoria University Polytechnic will also deliver dedicated courses for trainees and apprentices already employed on the West Gate Tunnel Project.
The initiative builds on another partnership between Victoria University and Transurban to deliver a career development and internship program for engineering students.
Victoria University Polytechnic Vice-President Grant Dreher said he was excited that the Civil Construction courses would help meet the growing demands of the infrastructure sector.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our apprentices and trainees to get practical training and experience that will provide a stepping stone for future employment opportunities,” he said.