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$3.5 million to fund new CDU TAFE Trades Training Centre in Katherine

group of people standing in front of CDU TAFE sign
Minister for Skills and Training Hon Brendan O’Connor announced at the CDU Katherine Rural campus that CDU TAFE was successful in a $2.5 million dollar grant from the TAFE Technology Fund.

Today at the Charles Darwin University (CDU) Katherine Rural Campus, the Honourable Brendan O’Connor MP Minister for Skills and Training announced CDU TAFE will receive $2.5 million to build a new Technical Trades Training centre on the site.

The funding has come from the Commonwealth TAFE Technology Fund and will aim to address gaps in vocational education and training in the region and provide training for emerging skills priorities in the region, with CDU also contributing $1 million dollars to the project in collaboration with Department Industry Tourism & Trade (DITT). 

The proposed Katherine Technical Trades Centre will be a modern multi-disciplinarity training centre with learning and teaching spaces designed to cover skills development in building and construction, engineering, electrotechnology, plumbing, automotive and aviation (remote pilot). 

CDU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Scott Bowman AO said CDU is committed to regional training and supporting the needs of those living in regional and remote areas of the NT. 

“The delivery of vocational education and training in Katherine and the Big Rivers region is critical,” Professor Bowman said. 

“A Technical Trades Training Centre in Katherine allows for educational delivery on the Katherine Rural Campus facilities for traditional trades that are otherwise taught in Darwin or Alice Springs.

“CDU is committed to providing economic growth in the regions by prioritising education and training as a pathway this centre will provide excellent opportunities for young people living in the Big Rivers Region.” 

The centre will be designed to be flexible based on the needs of the region as well as allow for a centralised base to ensure additional delivery in remote communities to provide pathways for First Nations students and young people. 

CDU Pro-Vice Chancellor and CEO TAFE Michael Hamilton said the Centre will help CDU address some of the challenges in the region by offering more opportunities through education, training, and vocational pathways. 

“The Centre will complement the NT Government’s significant upgrades to Katherine High School (STEAM Centre) and will provide young people more seamless vocational pathways in the region,” Mr Hamilton said. 

CDU Associate Vice-Chancellor Big Rivers Region Alison Brook said the CDU Katherine Rural campus is well positioned to diversify its onsite training to underpin the developing needs of the region.

“Traditional trades training delivery is a priority in the region and the campus is ideally situated to deliver on these regional needs, while unlocking local jobs and prioritising opportunities for our young people,” Mrs Brook said. 

Minister for Skills and Training Hon Brendan O’Connor said people living in remote areas deserve access to vocational education and training. 

“We believe everyone deserves access to vocational education and training, including Australians in remote areas of the country, which is why establishing this trades centre in Katherine in partnership with Charles Darwin University is so important,” Minister O’Connor said.

“The Albanese Labor Government’s $50 million TAFE Technology Fund helps ensure TAFEs, including those in remote areas, are equipped to deliver training to the standards expected by students and industry.”

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