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SKILLS TO PAY THE BILLS: TAFE NSW Metal Fabrication Teacher Col Everett shows the finer points of the trade to a young student.
TAFE NSW has moved to help combat one of Griffith’s most critical skills shortage areas by offering a Certificate IV in Engineering at TAFE NSW Griffith for the very first time.
The qualification, being offered for semester two 2019, starting on 22 July, is aimed at upskilling those already working in the engineering fields of fitting and machining, welding and metal fabrication.
Griffith Business Chamber vice-president Paul Pierotti welcomed the new course, saying there was an urgent need to attract and retain engineers in the city.
“This is something we’ve been attempting to address for a long time and it’s certainly one of the most acute skills shortage areas we have in Griffith,” Mr Pierotti said. “Training is a huge part of the puzzle and we welcome TAFE NSW addressing these needs so we can better ‘grow our own’ locally.”
Despite a downturn nationally, manufacturing continues to be Griffith’s highest employing industry, employing 2773 people (almost 20 per cent of the workforce) in 2018, according to a report by Economy ID.
But employing engineers to support manufacturing in the wine, irrigation and rice industries has long been a thorn in the side of the business community, Mr Pierotti said.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Metal Fabrication Mark Silk said the course offering was in response to feedback from the business community.
“In speaking with local employers, some are just starving for staff,” Mr Silk said. “There are so many jobs out there across the Riverina and there’s certainly money to be made for qualified engineers. There are plenty of employers willing to pay over and above the market rate to get a good person out here.”
Mr Silk said the course was largely targeted at those who had completed a Certificate III in Engineering and were hoping to build on their specialist skills.
Griffith Almet Engineering founder Kevin Foster said access to training was a critical part of addressing the local skills shortage.
“The skills shortage has been an issue here for at least 15 years,” Mr Foster said.
“This Certificate IV of Engineering is a perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to step up in their career.”
To find out more about studying a Certificate IV in Engineering at TAFE NSW Griffith, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.