Canning MP Andrew Hastie opened the Mandurah Trades Skills Centre at Coodanup College on Wednesday with a $3.3 million investment by the federal government to help transition local students from school, into the workforce, and on to careers.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Murray-Wellington MP Robyn Clarke and City of Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams.
Coodanup College principal Vicki McKeown welcomed the opening and said the centre would boost the job opportunities of students in the region.
Mr Hastie said Mandurah needed to equip students with high quality vocational skills.
“By giving local students skills for life, the centre will bring economic security to our students in a workforce that’s increasingly automated,” he said.
“Vocational training matters.
“The construction industry is the single largest employer in this city. 1256 houses were approved for construction last year, and that’s before we even consider non-residential and commercial development.”
Mr Hastie welcomed the Centre’s inclusion of painting and construction workshops as part of its curriculum for students.
“My constituents have been clear: we need local jobs for local tradies,” he said.
Mr Hastie pointed to regional projects such as the Mandurah Forum redevelopment and the production of vessels at Henderson shipyard as prime examples of growing industries in need of skilled workers.
“Australia would not work without our tradies,” said Mr Hastie.
“I congratulate the entire school community for its foresight in getting this centre up and running.”
Ms McKeown said youth unemployment in the region was running at an alarming 20 per cent.
“As a consortium of schools we know very well the impacts that this has for our students,” she said.
“Coodanup in particular services a community that has significant social disadvantage within the region and we're always striving to provide real life skills and experiences that allow our students to be competitive with their peers in gaining meaningful employment.”