Midland Tafe to be transformed into Metronet training facility

Midland Tafe will be developed as a training centre for Metronet jobs. Picture: David Baylis d491299
Midland Tafe will be developed as a training centre for Metronet jobs. Picture: David Baylis d491299

THE State Government is set to transform Midland Tafe into a specialist training facility that will equip young people with the skills to build Metronet.

The Metronet Trade Training Centre will be 3km from the site of the new Bellevue Metronet railcar manufacturing facility – where currently 246 railcars required for Metronet will be manufactured.

Midland Tafe will work with the Metronet project team, the Public Transport Authority and railcar contractors and subcontractors to develop training and workforce development programs to ensure they complement future plans for Metronet.

A recent report by the Australasian Railway Association highlighted a potential future skills shortage in the Australian rail sector, and the training centre will aim to make Midland a key destination for aspiring rail workers.

The State Government wants to ensure at least 50 per cent of Metronet railcars are manufactured in WA, creating opportunities for local workers and apprentices.

Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten today committed $3 million to the Tafe redevelopment if elected this year.

Premier Mark McGowan said the training centre would ensure West Australians were in the box seat to capitalise on jobs and training opportunities created through Metronet.

“Metronet will transform our city, creating a world-class public transport system connecting Perth’s suburbs,” he said.

“It’s fitting that we are able to make this announcement just days before the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Midland railway workshops.”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said Midland was the historical heart of rail manufacturing in WA and was pleased rail manufacturing would return to the area.

“The Metronet Trade Training Centre will complete the railcar manufacturing hub in Midland,” she said.

“Midland is a key part of our Metronet plans, with plans for the Bellevue extension and the new Midland station under way.

“This is about preparing WA workers for the huge pipeline of future rail projects – not just across Perth, but wider Australia – and ensuring they have the skills to build and maintain our expanding rail systems.”