Work has started on a major overhaul of Central Regional TAFE’s(opens in a new tab) maritime training vessel, with a $2 million refurbishment to ensure students have a first-class industry standard learning environment.
The floating specialist classroom — usually moored in Geraldton’s Fishing Boat Harbour — has been dry-docked as the ageing vessel is upgraded, including new engines, gear boxes, hydraulic system, electrics, air-conditioning and navigational systems.
The tender was awarded to local boat builder Dongara Marine. The vessel is used to deliver maritime-related training through Central Regional TAFE’s Batavia Coast Maritime Institute, in fishing boat operations, boating services, and marine engine drivers. It also supports on-water activities for components of other training programs such as aquaculture, tourism, coastal conservation and land management in the region.
Students are expected to be training on the newly updated vessel in March 2023. The $2 million project is part of the State Government’s record $215.8 million investment in TAFE capital works projects, upgrading TAFE campuses across Western Australia.
“The maritime industry is vital to Geraldton and the entire Batavia Coast, and this upgrade will directly support these employers by providing skilled workers with contemporary and industry relevant skills. says Training Minister Simone McGurk. “Importantly, this $2 million upgrade will boost opportunities for people in the Mid-West region to train and work locally. The revamped floating classroom will deliver a first class training environment that will benefit the local maritime industry for many years to come.”
Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton added “Central Regional TAFE’s maritime training vessel ‘The Master Class’ is an integral training and assessment tool for many of the training courses and qualifications that the college offers. I’ve seen firsthand how important it is for the students to have hands-on experience in an industry simulated environment, and the training vessel ensures students are exposed to the most up to date and industry relevant equipment and real-life scenarios, so they are better prepared and work ready for future employment opportunities. It’s fantastic to see local boat builders Dongara Marine be awarded the tender - a win for training and economic development in the regions.”