Challenger Institute of Technology's $6million training centre in Mandurah will help meet the Peel region's growing demand for skilled health and community services workers when it opens later this year.
The new centre will deliver industry-supported training in nursing, aged care, children's services, community services, disability services and education.
Training and Workforce Development Minister Kim Hames and Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris today turned the sod of the state-of-the-art addition to Challenger's Peel campus.
Ms Harris said the community services and health industries, combined, were Australia's largest employer and the demand for workers locally and nationally was projected to increase.
"There is a significant need in the expanding Peel region for health and community services," Ms Harris said.
"Our new training centre will help meet that demand by up-skilling students in a facility that includes a purpose-built aged care ward, simulated child care facility – including a small playground – and a nursery."
A number of passive sustainable initiatives have been incorporated into the design of the centre, such as energy efficient air-conditioning and lighting fixtures and a central atrium providing ample natural light.
Ms Harris said many of the courses to be offered at the centre would provide pathways to university, in particular Murdoch University which accepted Challenger Institute graduates into degrees in nursing and education.
She said the facility would build on the excellent health and community services training already offered by Challenger Institute. This training included flexible delivery programs, work placement and Recognition of Prior Learning and was delivered to 1700 students each year.
The new centre, which will be completed later this year and welcome its first students in Semester 1, 2015, is funded by the WA Government's Royalties for Regions program through the Skills Training Initiative.
PHOTO CAPTION: L–R: Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris, Minister Hames, Governing Council chair Paddi Creevey and South West MP Colin Holt, parliamentary secretary to Minister for Regional Development Terry Redman.