A debate over vocational training in the Peel region continues to rage, with Mandurah MP David Templeman saying it is shameful the government has pledged to build a $18.4 million specialist hospitality and tourism training centre at Peel TAFE campus while the Coodanup Trade Training Centre sits empty.
The trade training centre, which cost $3.4 million to build was to provide students with courses in plumbing, gas, painting and decorating, has been unused since funding arrangements with the government fell through because of a construction industry downturn.
Mr Templeman said it was “shameful” the government was promising more facilities while the trade training centre sat idle.
“The Barnett Liberal Government have the audacity to announce that they will spend $18 million on a new training centre in Mandurah when this one sits idle,” he said.
“We have an unbelievably high youth unemployment rate in Mandurah and this state-of-the-art trade training centre should have been open and delivering trade courses from the start of this year’s school term.”
But Liberal Dawesville candidate Zak Kirkup, speaking on behalf of training minister Liza Harvey, said it was unbelievable Mr Templeman didn’t support a specialist TAFE training centre which would give thousands of Peel students access to state of the art training resources.
“Mr Templeman needs to explain to the people of Peel why he hates supporting TAFE students and jobs,” he said.
“The Peel region has a projected population of 440,000 by 2050, to support this the region needs to develop a diverse and innovative local economy with a highly skilled and adaptive workforce.
“The new Centre will ensure the appropriate training facilities and training to meet the current and future skills needs of the Peel region.”
In January, an education department spokeswoman said future plans for the building were yet to be determined, and it remained unclear how the building would be used, if at all, this year.