Queensland’s fastest-growing region is ready and willing to assist a national initiative to provide free TAFE training places to increase skill levels in a changing workforce.
Greater Springfield Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said plans for a five-storey TAFE college had been finalised to complement the existing TAFE facility in the city.
The plans can assist in the allocation of some of the 180,000 free TAFE training places announced by the Federal Government following the national jobs and skills summit held in September 2022.
“Training capacity is vital now to ensure that we can properly resource an economy that needs support,” Mr Sinnathamby said.
“We have an existing TAFE college overflowing with students, but we have room to grow to enable more students to gain the skills that will help this nation. We have a complete design for a five-storey, purpose-built TAFE. We are ready and we have the people who can benefit from new places.
“Greater Springfield is the fastest-growing region of Queensland in the last decade, as identified by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It is the only city to be built other than Canberra since Federation.”
Mr Sinnathamby said the growth in the western corridor made it attractive for the training boost that was a focus of the national jobs and skills summit.
“The opening speech of the national jobs and skills summit included one clear message: invest in ‘human capital, big time’,” Mr Sinnathamby said.
“This is music to the ears of Greater Springfield, which has been built on an investment in human and social capital.
“In 30 years, we have built 12 schools and student numbers will double in next 30 years. We have built 19 kindergartens, a university campus and a major hospital with approvals for up to 1200 beds. And there is more to come.
“But education cities require teamwork to ensure that we can make the most of our nation’s opportunities.
“We’re happy to take part in a wider discussion about how an expanded TAFE college in Greater Springfield can assist in the goals clearly annunciated at the national jobs and skills summit.”
Greater Springfield has developed a free Springfield Jobs portal that enables employers and jobseekers to advertise, search and secure local employment opportunities.
Vacancies placed on Springfield Jobs by the Brisbane Lions recently quickly reached an audience of more than 40,000 people via social media.
“This portal connects job seekers with active vacancies and enables us to understand the needs of employers and prospective workers. And that gives us an insight into the skills most needed in our area,” Dr Richard Eden, Springfield’s Executive General Manager – Education and Smart City, said.
“The new stage of the Mater Hospital will create 1000 new jobs. The current hospital employs approximately 280 staff, more than 60 per cent of whom live in the local area.
“There are more examples that we are happy to share in a discussion on how we can continue to develop skills and training in the western corridor.”
Mr Sinnathamby said local insights and expertise could assist governments in achieving goals to benefit the nation.
“A collective focus on enhancing human and social capital will bring the best results,” Mr Sinnathamby said. “Having first-class training facilities will also attract overseas students and migration to enhance our talent bank.”