Thursday, November 16, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Auto Training Hub Revs Up At CQU

A multi-million-dollar specialist training facility for heavy automotive trades at the CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea campus is expected to be operational by Term 2, 2024.

The 1,610 sqm site will include workshop space, teaching areas, staff spaces and specialist equipment including an air brake simulator, hydraulic training stations, transmission training simulators, diesel engine benches and an air suspension training stand for trucks.

The facility will also enable the University to almost triple its student capacity in the trade discipline from 140 to more than 400 students.

CQUniversity will deliver heavy automotive trade courses including Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Diesel Fitting), Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology and Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology, in full within the Mackay region.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the new facility will contribute to the regional economy and allow the public training provider, CQU, to continue changing lives and supporting communities and industry through skills-based training.

“By boosting training capacity, the redeveloped trade training centre will supply a pipeline of qualified heavy automotive professionals, crucial to keeping the region’s industries running,” she said.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the new facility is an important addition for Mackay and its future workforce.

“Once the upgrade is completed, final year apprentices will no longer have to travel for up to four hours to Rockhampton or Emerald to complete required training blocks, saving them time and money.

“It will provide heavy automotive trade apprentices with a purpose-built training space, plus more than $2.4 million worth of the latest industry-related tools, resources and technology and help cater for an average year-on-year student growth of 15 per cent in the heavy automotive discipline over the past five years in the Mackay region.”

Peter Heilbuth, Deputy Vice-President, VET and Business Development at CQUniversity said the development of this facility is much needed in the region as local industry and the community rely heavily on skilled trade professionals to keep the economy and key industries running.

“The facility will deliver apprentices and trainees world-class facilities and equipment to ensure they get the most out of their training experience. This better prepares them for their future careers and the needs and expectations of industry. This will also have a positive impact on their employers as apprentices will be trained using the latest resources and technology,” he said.

“We are thankful to the Queensland Government for their support of CQUniversity and skills training in the CQ region.”

L-R: CQU Associate Dean for the School of Trades Rob Buttery, CQU Associate Vice-President of the North Queensland Region Rob Brown, Local MP The Hon Julieanne Gilbert and CQU Deputy Vice-President of Vocational Education and Training Peter Heilbuth. Photo credit: Bill Jewell. Source: CQU

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