A new $5.9 million TAFE centre to be built in the Hunter Valley is set to help educate those wanting a career in the mining sector.
The higher education precinct will be built in Muswellbrook by the council after it won $4 million worth of funding through the state government’s Resources for Regions initiative.
Partnering with Hunter TAFE, the centre will target mining-specific courses, and work with the University of Southern Queensland to develop long-distance supported enrolment in the university’s new mine engineering degree.
Hunter TAFE chief executive Phil Cox said the new centre is a perfect fit with the TAFE’s current mine and industry skills centre and the proposed heavy diesel plant mechanic facility, Newcastle Herald reported.
“Being able to study in the heart of the town will encourage more and more students to study in the Upper Hunter,” Cox said.
Muswellbrook mayor Martin Rush said it was important for Muswellbrook to become a university town as quickly as possible.
He said the centre was crucial for a town that relied so heavily on mining employment and shows ‘‘the increasing importance that education, skills, innovation and creativity will play in determining the value of labour rather than its relative scarcity’’.
Construction is expected to start in the new financial year.