Groundworks have begun on a new trades training centre at the Casuarina campus of Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Northern Territory. The latest addition to CDU’s Trades Precinct, the upcoming training centre is a $10 million project with the design and construction being led by local Darwin company, Aspire Design and Construct.

Recently, Northern Territory Minister for Skills, Training and International Education Joel Bowden joined CDU vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman, CDU TAFE pro vice-chancellor Mike Hamilton and Aspire Design and Construct executive director Lisa Jenkinson to review the initial progress on site.

The Northern Territory Government is investing $4.8 million to help strengthen vocational education and training pathways for Territorians, says Bowden.

“The Territory needs an innovative, capable and skilled workforce to meet industry demands and we are committed to delivering more accessible training pathways for Territorians.

“The Northern Territory Government is investing in apprenticeships and traineeships to maximise job opportunities for Territorians and, to support business and industry build workforce they need now and into the future.”

The $4.8 million investment comes from the Northern Territory Government’s VET Capital Grant for the ongoing development of Vocational Education and Training facilities, with the rest to be funded by CDU.

The two-storey training centre will feature a heavy equipment precinct, an assembly area, an industrial sand pit, and classrooms.

Professor Bowman said the new centre would be used to deliver in-demand courses to support the Territory’s trades, with an initial focus on carpentry and roof plumbing.

"Our commitment to providing modern facilities for vocational education is evident in the new Trades Centre, which will prepare apprentices with skills they need to succeed.

“We want to support the construction industry here in the Territory with practical courses that can help address skills shortages, filling the need for qualified apprentices in trades that are essential for housing and infrastructure developments.”

The University will provide high quality equipment, industry-relevant curriculum, and collaborations with leading trade professionals, says Hamilton. “CDU TAFE aims to give Territorians unique training opportunities. The apprentices who train here will contribute their newfound skills back into NT businesses and improve the local workforce's capacity to meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry."

“Aspire is proud to be part of CDU’s expansion of their core training centre,” says Jenkinson. “Carpentry and roof plumbing are key trades in the construction industry, and to have modern facilities will only enhance the successful completion of these trades to support NT growth now, and more importantly for many years to come.”

Work on the training centre is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2024.

Image: Aspire Design and Construct Executive Director Lisa Jenkinson, Minister for Skills, Training and International Education Joel Bowden, CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman, and CDU TAFE Chief Executive Mike Hamilton at the construction site.