UOW welcomes commitment to fund Energy Futures Skills Centre
Centre will design and deliver courses to train and re-skill the clean energy and clean manufacturing workforces of the future
University of Wollongong (UOW) Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia M. Davidson has welcomed the announcement that if elected a Labor government will provide $10 million to establish an Energy Futures Skills Centre at the University.
The announcement was made by the ALP candidate for Cunningham Alison Byrnes and the member for Whitlam Stephen Jones on Friday (13 May) at UOW’s Wollongong campus.
Ms Byrnes and Mr Jones said a Labor government would also provide $2.5 million in funding to upgrade equipment and teaching aids, creating a Renewable Energy Training facility at Wollongong TAFE to support training in renewable energy technologies.
Professor Davidson said the University was committed to unlocking Australia’s renewable energy potential, to supporting local industries to create sustainable jobs and to helping communities transition to a renewable energies future.
“I’d like to sincerely thank Alison Byrnes and Stephen Jones for this significant and important commitment they have made today to fund an Energy Futures Skills Centre and for their strong and positive support of UOW,” Professor Davidson said.
“I'm really excited to have the intersection between TAFE NSW and the University because today we don't know what the jobs of the future will be, but the two facilities will work closely to develop and deliver the education and skills that the workforce of the future needs.
“It’s important to have this investment in our city. We are going to lead this energy transformation in a way that is not about making money, but about saving the planet and about achieving social justice and making sure no one is left behind.
“We want to make sure the future looks bright for everyone.”
The Energy Futures Skill Centre will have our key components:
- Energy skills program development – new courses jointly design by UOW and TAFE NSW to train the energy workforce of the future, as well as transition programs to re-train existing highly skilled people, equipping them with the knowledge and training for careers in the clean energy and clean manufacturing industries;
- Energy skills program delivery – using state-of-the-art clean energy and clean manufacturing teaching laboratories to provide real-world examples of clean energy technology applications;
- Clean energy business support – the Energy Futures Skill Centre will collaborate with new businesses as they develop their business models in the clean energy and clean manufacturing space, from new technology start-ups through to well established large scale industries;
- Community outreach and engagement – the Centre will operate as an energy outreach centre, engaging communities in the development and implementation of an equitable energy future and forging strategic partnerships between UOW, TAFE NSW and industry partners.
Mr Jones said capability assessments pointed to shortages of a suitably skilled workforce in renewable energy technologies in the Illawarra and that the Energy Futures Skill Centre will deliver that capability.
“The Illawarra has a proud industrial history and this investment in the local workforce and support for local businesses will support a bright industrial future for the region,” he said.
Ms Byrnes said real action on climate change and renewable energy would require a suitably skilled workforce to develop it, build it and maintain it.
“This investment will equip our region to be central to energy generation, transmission and storage into the future,” she said.
“These investments in the University of Wollongong and Wollongong TAFE will help build and train the workforce of the future and support businesses as they navigate changes to their operations that might be required to use more clean energy.”