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Northern Territory Government invests in trades

Northern Territory Government invests in trades

The Northern Territory Government is allocating over $109 million towards vocational education and training, workforce development and skilled workforce initiatives as part of its 2024 budget.

Currently, 3,772 Territorians are engaged in apprenticeships or traineeships, including 1,140 Aboriginal apprentices and trainees, reflecting a 12 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Together with the Federal Government, the Northern Territory Government is providing 2,200 Fee-Free TAFE training placements between 2024 and 2026. Since the introduction of this program in 2023, 1,867 Territorians have undertaken fee-free training.

To ensure that facilities are available to help Territorians become job-ready or reskilled, the Territory Government is investing $4.8 million in the new $10 million Charles Darwin University (CDU) Trades Training Centre. Local Territory company Aspire Design and Construct is undertaking the build, which is expected to open towards the end of 2024.

Lisa Jenkinson, executive director at Aspire Design and Construct, reported that the construction of the CDU Trades Training Centre is progressing smoothly and remains on schedule.

“The civil works is all but complete with the seal to the top carpark completed in May,” said Jenkinson. “With the arrival of the structural steel onsite we have started the erection.”

“This component of the project is an exciting transformation from the groundworks to the build form.

“Aspire is proud to support the construction of the new centre for the future trades people of the Northern Territory.”

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The two-storey centre will feature a heavy equipment precinct, an assembly area, an industrial sandpit and classrooms, designed for trades courses requiring larger workspaces, initially focusing on carpentry and roof plumbing.

Mike Hamilton, pro vice-chancellor and CEO of CDU TAFE, stated that the addition of extra fee-free TAFE places is a significant boost for construction training at CDU.

“It ensures that more students from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to gain essential skills without the burden of financial constraints,” said Hamilton. “Expanding our TAFE offerings, particularly in construction, is crucial for meeting the growing demands of the industry.”

“These fee-free places will help us train a skilled workforce and support the construction sector by providing a steady pipeline of well-trained professionals.”

Additionally, the Northern Territory Government is providing $6.7 million to support Territorians undertaking apprenticeships or traineeships. This includes travel and accommodation subsidies, support schemes for those living in regional and remote parts of the NT, and the Work Wear Work Gear bonus.

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