CONSTRUCTION is underway for a new specialist agricultural training facility at the Muresk Institute.
The works to modernise essential agricultural training facilities at the site are part of a $9.9 million expansion, with the project's second stage getting under way.
The first stage of the project was to provide a new $800,000 industry-standard shearing shed, which is crucial to Muresk's role as a working farm and agricultural training provider.
The new facilities will provide students with high-quality training in wool handling and shearing with the best possible interactive experience.
The second stage will expand Muresk Institute's facilities to include a new specialist Agricultural Machinery Training Centre, providing new workshops, classrooms, information technology laboratories and student facilities.
An adjacent 1940s cottage will be renovated into an administration space for lecturers and a breakout space for students.
Muresk Institute is a specialised agricultural training facility on a working farm, ensuring industry-driven education and training opportunities are available to meet demand for skilled workers. Muresk and Central Regional TAFE (CRT) have worked closely with industry in the development of the Certificate III in Agricultural Mechanical Technology apprenticeship, with first year training taking place this year at the CRT Northam campus, before moving to the new Muresk facilities from 2023.
Once their training is complete, the qualified technicians will service all types of agricultural machinery across Western Australia's broadacre farming industry, including the servicing of specialised technology such as precision spraying and seeding equipment.
Regional WA commercial builder ACorp Construction Pty Ltd is carrying out the majority of construction, while another regional WA company GBSC Yurra constructed the new shearing shed. The project will provide new industry-relevant training facilities for courses approved for reduced fees under the State government's highly successful Lower fees, local skills program. Approximately 100 workers will be employed throughout the project at Muresk Institute, including apprentices and trainees.
It is anticipated that construction of the new facilities will be completed in January 2023, with training to commence in the first semester.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery visited Muresk on Wednesday.
"Muresk Institute has been the home of agricultural training in Western Australia for almost 100 years, and this expansion will help to ensure that Muresk can continue to serve that purpose for a long time to come," Ms Ellery said.
"It will contribute to providing a pipeline of skilled workers for Western Australia's agricultural industry, and maximise efficient and effective farming practices in order to stay competitive internationally.
"The new agricultural training facilities have been designed following extensive industry consultation to ensure they meet industry standards and students are ready to start work in the agricultural sector."
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