Federal Minister for Education and Workplace Relations, the Hon Bill Shorten MP today visited Victoria University's Construction Hub at Sunshine campus to celebrate the ongoing success of the new training facility.
Victoria University, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins said that the celebration was "symbolic of Victoria University's commitment to the future of trades training and to supporting building trade skills here in the west of Melbourne and beyond".
Training 500+ people in any week the Construction Hub addresses the demand for skills in Melbourne's growing western region and helps to provide necessary employment opportunities.
In his address to the gathering, which included many apprentices and pre-apprentices, Minister Shorten highlighted Melbourne's future growth and the strength of the construction industry. He said, "You are in a growth industry. If you do your apprenticeships you are setting yourselves up well for the rest of your life.
"When you come here (to VU) you are getting quality teaching by people who care about you as individuals. You have got the resources here.
"One day all of you will be able to say (when asked) where did you do your apprenticeship, and you will be able to say I did it at VU. And do you know what it will mean to everyone else who hears that – you have the best qualifications going and it will be a passport to your future good job and financial future and professionalism," he said.
Kole Talevski who is doing a Certificate II in Building and Construction – Carpentry, pre-apprenticeship said, "I have found the course to be most beneficial for me to obtain a job as an apprentice. These days no company will take anyone on without any experience or basic training.
"I left a full time job in warehouse management that I held for 17 years to pursue a passion in construction. It was very hard for me to make this change but the right time to do so. I was encouraged by two of my friends who had attended VU at Newport Campus, also doing their apprenticeships which made it easier for me to decide. Well here I am 14 weeks later and I am a lot more confident and experienced and no regrets, also two job offers."
In training apprentices and pre-apprentices in carpentry, bricklaying and furniture-making, the state-of-the-art building which houses the Hub is designed to skill and re-skill today's building and construction workforce for the green and emerging technologies of the future.
The building has achieved a 6 Star Green Star - Education Design v1 certified rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, which represents world leadership in environmentally sustainable building practices and the highest form of recognition possible.
With a 6 Star Green Star rating, the building is an example of environmental design excellence incorporating the latest renewable energy, water preservation, solar design and temperature technologies to reduce VU's carbon footprint.
Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University,
9919 4322; 0434 602884; firstname.lastname@example.org