Plans are underway for a new maker space and a specialist training centre at TAFE Bundaberg which will equip students with even more opportunities to gain skills once constructed.
As part of the State budget, $925,000 out of a $3.4 million spend was announced for the maker space as part of the Equipping TAFE for Our Future program.
A further $2.7 million will support a training centre for students to expand their range of Certificate and Diploma level qualifications in study areas including Environment, Animal Services, Agriculture and Horticulture.
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said construction for both projects would start in November and were expected to be completed by April 2023.
“These two projects are exactly what our regional agribusinesses needed, not just in making sure there are local skilled workers right here in Bundaberg, but ensuring that their employees and managers are upskilled in rapidly-evolving technologies,” he said.
“Once built, TAFE Queensland will be able to provide training in emerging automation technologies and augmentation in agriculture and manufacturing processes.”
Planning of the maker space hub is in progress and includes consideration for:
- Installation of educational equipment including but not limited to CNC machining units, 3D printers, robotic demonstration units, light duty commercial machining equipment
- A refresh of the practical workshop, adjacent theory classroom and amenities
- Updates to the ICT infrastructure and services to enable compatibility with new training offerings in the hub.
The campus upgrade for the training centre is in the planning and design phase, but will include:
- a flexible ag-tech training workshop
- a Smart Centre linked to installation of solar panels and other alternative energy generation equipment, for energy use monitoring
- Mixed (simulated/virtual) Reality Digital Control Centre
- science laboratory for water and soil analysis
- grow pod
- an upgrade to existing water harvesting tanks, irrigation and pump systems.
Minister for Training and Skills, Di Farmer said the centre represented a significant investment in local industry training in Bundaberg.
“This is a strong investment in the Wide Bay Burnett region and in creating a skilled workforce,” Minister Farmer said.
“It will position the region to make a significant contribution to traditional and growth industries such as agriculture, biotechnology and manufacturing.”