By Mikayla van Loon
Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges TAFE students will now receive some of the best training with the opening of a new trade centre at Box Hill Institute’s Lilydale Lakeside Campus.
Members from all areas of the community came to open the $10.2 million facility on Friday 14 May.
The purpose-built facility will offer students hands-on training in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and automotive with all the up-to-date technology and equipment.
After consulting with senior elder Aunty Doreen Garvey-Wandin, the trade centre has been named the Nallei Jerring Nyerboing centre, which translates to Join Unite Industrious.
Training and skills minister Gayle Tierney said the trade centre will help meet the demand for skilled workers in the region and help students work collaboratively with other trades.
“We are trying to ensure we have state of the art facilities, state of the art equipment that are incredibly relevant to what is happening in the workplace,” Ms Tierney said.
Ms Tierney’s expectations of the trade centre is that it will help foster skilled workers who can then make decisions about owning a home, buying a car or starting a family.
“This is the new renaissance of TAFE, this is the new renaissance of apprenticeships in this state and it is the new renaissance of getting kids back into the workforce and reengaged so they can make some lifetime opportunities no matter what path they finally choose,” she said.
“We want to not just skill people up in understanding how to make things but to achieve that higher level of excellence.”
The Jarlo Road campus in Lilydale was closed and left to be sold as of the 2014 election. The current Victorian government vowed to restore the campus for use and has therefore built this trade centre to continue that promise of training young people.
Acting premier James Merlino said he was proud of what had been achieved as acting premier but more so as a local member to be able to provide the region with an excellent training facility.
“The thing that I was so passionate about this site, is that if we lost it, we could never ever ever replicate it,” he said.
“This is about providing a pathway for young people and people who are returning to training and the workforce, local pathways and relevant, relevant to them, relevant to industry in our region.”
First year carpentry apprentice Ben Walton said he completed his Certificate II with Box Hill Institute and when his teachers found out about the new facilities they recommended he continue his studies at the Lilydale Lakeside Campus.
“[The trade centre] just allows us to go that step further than the old John Street campus does. It’s got more space, we don’t have to move to different facilities and areas as much.”
250 students are ready to use the trade centre with the vision of 1000 students to eventually fill the space every year.
Featured alongside the tech school, students from high schools in the region can use the campus facilities as well.
Reece Plumbing business development manager John Doig said it’s important for new apprentices to love what they do and that is made easier by learning in a place like the Nallei Jerring Nyerboing centre.
“If you’re giving people the best opportunity to train people on the current and latest in technologies and all the new innovations that are coming into the industry, they then take it to the job site and they even reverse train their bosses,” Mr Doig said.
“The interaction with the different trades all at the same time, I think that’s going to add value because when they go to a jobsite that’s what they are going to have to deal with.”
Mr Doig also said with a new facility comes great respect for the equipment, space and other people which can only be a good thing.
The attached innovation centre which is still gaining equipment and technology, has been named after Helen Buckingham, former Australian politician.
Ms Tierney was very grateful to have had the ongoing support of Ms Buckingham.
“Helen has just been an absolute campaigner for better education, better training and better lives for young people particularly in suburban Melbourne,” she said.
Students have already started using the new trade centre, with more students expected to be using the facilities by Christmas.