South West TAFE was one of the biggest state budget winners in the region with the government affirming its commitment to two projects worth millions of dollars for Warrnambool.
Member for Western Victoria Jacinta Ermacora confirmed Warrnambool would get one of six new tech schools with TAFE to get a share of $106 million to build the new facility in the CBD.
But where and how much it will cost is yet to be revealed. The government confirmed it would also build a new $5 million innovation and design centre at TAFE's Sherwood Park Campus which would have a renewable energy focus.
South West TAFE chief executive officer Mark Fidge said it was a very important announcement.
"$5 million is nothing to be sneezed at. It's fantastic," Mr Fidge said.
He said it would mean there were better facilities for students at the campus which was already in the process of getting more portables because of overcrowding.
"There's a lot of people coming and squeezing into this site. Car parking is really tight, and in fact in some cases we've even had to turn away students who are doing VET in school programs," Mr Fidge said. He said hopefully the building of the design centre would start soon.
Ms Ermacora said the $5 million centre at Sherwood Park included a large trades workshop with specialist equipment like "green" plumbing, solar and battery electrical systems, sustainable integrated building designs and new construction technologies.
"These renewable trade skills will augment the already growing renewable economy in south-west Victoria," she said.
"These new emerging skills will play a role in the wind and solar sector in our region and may even play a role in emerging technologies, some of which are under development here at Deakin University, Warrnambool."
The Labor MP said it could link in with the new hydrogen hub which was under construction next door on the Deakin campus.
"We're going to have all this trades expertise specifically in the space of renewable energy and renewable technologies and that's very exciting for our region," she said.
In relation to the tech school, Ms Ermacora said it would provide students in the district opportunities to explore cutting edge technologies such as robotics, automation, coding, 3D printing, virtual reality and other STEM areas.
She said it would ensure local students had access to practical experiences through hands-on learning.
"Our kids need to be prepared for the jobs they want and that's exactly what tech schools do," she said.
Mr Fidge said the tech school meant students wouldn't have to leave the region to be able to access training for the "jobs of tomorrow".
He said it would allow students in year 7, 8 and 9 to come to the CBD campus and have the experience locally.
"It's a pretty big announcement," he said.
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