TAFE Queensland’s Bohle campus is undergoing a $17.2 million expansion, including the construction of a $12.45 million Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training Facility and a $4.74 million Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab, which will allow the TAFE to offer more than 20 new qualifications in renewable and advanced manufacturing industries.

The projects are part of the $100 million Equipping TAFE for our Future program, which focuses on providing Queenslanders with access to modern infrastructure to support high-quality training.

The Queensland Premier, Ministers and local MPs helped turn the sod on the new Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training Facility and an Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab to mark the start of construction while in Townsville for Regional Cabinet.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the Queensland Government is committed to seeing Queensland be a global leader when it comes to renewable energy, and that means kickstarting training now.

“Townsville’s Bohle campus will be the first TAFE in the state to have the world class facilities we need to train our future workforce,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“There are so many opportunities for North Queensland as part of our landmark Energy and Jobs Plan, whether it’s in training, critical minerals, research, mining, exporting or manufacturing.”

The new $12.45 million Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training Facility is a first for TAFE Queensland which will support the training needed for the Queensland hydrogen industry – anticipated to be worth about $1.7 billion a year in exports by 2030.

The facility’s design will target a five star Green Star Building rating and incorporate sustainable design features that will see the building powered by renewable energy.

The new $4.74 million Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab will support high end manufacturing of tech like augmented reality, automation, and robotics.

These facilities guarantee Queensland will have the workforce supply chain as the state forges on to become a renewable energy and technology powerhouse.

Upskilling Queenslanders for the future is a key pillar of the Queensland Government’s $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, released in 2022.

Queensland Minister for Resources and Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart, said Bohle TAFE trains more than 2,000 trade apprentices each year, and the upgrades mean more opportunities in the emerging industries of tomorrow by unlocking more than 20 new qualifications for the region.

Member for Mundingburra and North Queensland Hydrogen Champion, Les Walker, said there is huge potential in developing a green hydrogen industry in Townsville which is why investing in facilities like this is so important.

“This investment will enable the delivery of cutting-edge, industry-leading training in North Queensland to meet industry needs,” Mr Walker said.

Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said investing in our TAFEs is about backing our young people with the skills they need to help land good jobs and support Townsville and North Queensland’s future.

“It’s the Queensland Government that will continue to invest and support the Queensland TAFE system because we know how important teaching skills and trades is for the future,” Mr Harper said.

Since 2017, the Queensland Government has invested almost $280 million in building new and upgrading existing training facilities across the state, including around $40 million invested in the North Queensland region.

The new projects on the TAFE Queensland Townsville Trade Training Centre align with the Good people. Good jobs. Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032.

Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer, said, “Importantly, both the new Renewable Training Facility and Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab will be co-located with Townsville’s Regional Manufacturing Hub, ensuring synergy between training and businesses.

“The project will support the Queensland Government initiatives for Industry 4.0 – the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will enable advanced manufacturers to connect big data and analytics with automation and robotics, improving cost, productivity, profitability and operations.”

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick De Brenni, said, “Regional Queensland is at the centre of this clean energy industrial revolution, unleashing 100,000 new jobs in hydrogen, renewables, manufacturing and critical minerals.

“In the not-too distant future, renewable hydrogen will be used domestically in sectors such as road transport and ammonia for fertilisers as well as to create industrial heat and power generation for mining and steel production.”

The facilities are expected to be built by the second half of 2023 – supporting 45 jobs during construction.

Refurbishment activities will also be undertaken on an existing manufacturing skills lab at Bohle TAFE, which will be completed by the end of 2023.

Queensland Minister for Manufacturing, Glenn Butcher, said, “Manufacturing already contributes $20 billion a year to the state’s economy and we want to see that grow even further. I’ve always said if we can make it in Queensland, we should.

“Our Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap tells us we need a world class, skilled and ready workforce to grow our manufacturing industry, and that’s what the new Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab will deliver.

“The co-location of the Regional Manufacturing Hub and TAFE is deliberate and provides an important connection between North Queensland manufacturers and our world-leading training facilities, which are about to get even better.”

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