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Picture: TAFE NSW Engineering student Cristine Russo (Photo supplied by Toby Zerna/ Daily Telegraph)

Western Sydney’s engineers of the future have an innovative new study option that combines vocational education and training with higher education under a new plan announced by the Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and TAFE NSW campuses in Mount Druitt and Wetherill Park have joined to deliver a highly skilled and knowledgeable engineering course that combines university study and vocational training in a way like never before, as part of a one-year Diploma of Engineering.

The hybrid model couples the practical, immediately applicable and in-demand industry skills gained at TAFE NSW, with access to UTS's world-class teachers and the innovative technologies that represent the industries of the future.

The Diploma of Engineering gives students the skills they need for a range of fields, including Computer Aided Design, automation and advanced manufacturing.

After graduating, students have the immediate option to continue their engineering studies at UTS with credit for the experience gained through the TAFE NSW Diploma or continue with further study at TAFE NSW to achieve higher qualifications, again with credit.

Mr Lee said successful pathway graduates will emerge with two qualifications and the skills to contribute to NSW's economic competitiveness by helping businesses to grow and embrace new technologies.

"This is the best of both worlds. This model couples the practical and immediately applicable real-world and in-demand industry skills gained at TAFE NSW, with the higher-level knowledge and exposure to state-of-the-art facilities that comes from a university degree," he said.

“The courses will be initially offered at two Western Sydney locations, providing Western Sydney students more options to consider studying after high school. They can get a taste of university study at UTS, while earning a valuable qualification with TAFE.

"It's an absolute win-win for students and industry. From today, and at no extra cost to students they can shave six months off a Bachelor of Engineering by completing a Diploma of Engineering at TAFE NSW."

Professor Brungs said UTS was excited to be working with the NSW Government and TAFE NSW on this initiative.

“This partnership demonstrates what can be done when universities and TAFE work together. The program provides a unique opportunity for students across Western Sydney who gain greater choice and flexibility,” Professor Brungs said.

“We want our students to enter the workforce with the perfect coupling of the knowledge of what needs to be done, and the skills to turn that thinking into a reality.

“Together, TAFE NSW and UTS will be delivering the skilled problem solvers that NSW needs in the booming fields of infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and robotics.”

The Diploma of Engineering with the UTS-TAFE NSW Engineering Pathway is now available for students to enrol and commence study in 2021.

To enrol in the Diploma of Engineering, click here.