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Building to begin on Komatsu training centre

Construction is set to commence on Komatsu’s $6 million apprentice and innovation training centre in Welshpool, Perth.

Construction is set to commence on Komatsu’s $6 million apprentice and innovation training centre in Welshpool, Perth.

The facility aims to create career development opportunities for current and future generations and create a technically proficient and capable technician workforce.

It will be highly interactive, technically advanced, and globally connected, with futuristic capabilities that will help establish career pathways into high technology areas of autonomous and smart construction.

Komatsu Training Academy General Manager, Janine Gurney, said that in addition to post trade and technical training, the new facility will offer a suite of nationally recognised qualifications across engineering, civil construction, automotive and mobile plant technology, as well as autonomous workplace and remote operations.

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“Our award-winning apprenticeship training scheme aims to deliver not just the technical training, but also gives apprentices essential ‘life skills’, so that new industry entrants have both the life and personal responsibility skills and awareness, as well as the essential trade skills,” Gurney said.

“The innovative program has reportedly achieved measurable results, with apprentices being six months ahead of their peers doing traditional apprenticeships and have a one-year advantage at the completion of their training.”

The company’s goal is to train 500 apprentices over the next three to four years, while maintaining a 94 per cent retention rate.

Komatsu Regional General Manager – Western, Glenn Swift, said the impact of COVID-19 and closed borders have presented additional challenges around talent availability and accessibility in market.

“Our WA operation works heavily with the mining industry, where a large portion of the workforce are interstate, fly-in-fly-out workers,” Swift said.

“While border closures meant many were unable to fly in, the general uncertainty of the pandemic left many experienced and skilled workers opting to stay closer to home – placing even greater pressure on the existing skills shortage.”

Swift says that while Komatsu has long prioritised and invested heavily in training and development, the current market challenges present an even greater need to create an industry-leading and future focused, training facility in the west.

The Welshpool facility will be a complete solar plant with LED lighting and follows the installation of 10 major solar facilities across the country over the past three years.

Construction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022 and be fully operational three months after completion.

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