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WA gets first Clean Energy Skills National Centre of Excellence

The federal and Western Australian governments are jointly investing $70.5 million across five years in WA to establish Australia’s first TAFE Clean Energy Skills National Centre of Excellence.

Operating across the WA TAFE network, the centre will provide innovative training in clean energy technologies including solar, wind, hydrogen, batteries, and grid integration. It aims to be a skills leader in clean energy science, engineering, construction, and operation, supporting the net zero transformation.

WA Premier Roger Cook says the new Centre of Excellence will skill thousands of Western Australians to take up quality clean energy jobs.

“We have ambitious plans for clean energy in this state,” he says.

“As we leverage WA’s natural advantages to become a global clean energy powerhouse, the transition will offer a range of exciting opportunities for Western Australians to pursue careers and take up quality jobs of the future.”

Greater access

The centre will expand access to clean energy skills training at both metropolitan and regional TAFE campuses, such as Kalgoorlie, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha, and Broome. The centre will use and build on existing collaborations between TAFEs and universities to design industry-relevant training programs, facilitate applied research, and fast-track the development of higher and degree-equivalent apprenticeship pathways.

The aim is to increase the number of apprentices to ensure Western Australia – and Australia – can reach net zero by 2050.

ITECA approval

The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) Chief Executive, Troy Williams, believes the initiative will lead the nation’s clean energy skills training.

“The centre will be at the forefront of education and training in clean energy science, engineering, construction, and operation,” says Williams.

“Through studying with independent and public skills training providers, students will gain essential practical skills and knowledge to drive innovation within the clean energy sector.”

The centre will also partner with industry to support the participation of more Western Australians in clean energy jobs, including women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Albanese government is contributing $32.75 million to the scheme. The Western Australian government will match this and add a further $5.04 million.

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