Ballina TAFE gets $4m boost
REFURBISHMENTS worth almost $4 million have delivered state-of-the-art facilities to students at the North Coast Institute of TAFE’s Ballina campus.
The facilities include new classrooms and purpose-built training areas for nursing, warehouse logistics and community welfare students.
New specialist facilities in IT, business and retail now feature wireless technology and practical retail capabilities.
There is also a new maritime workshop to complement the existing maritime simulated learning facilities.
Administration facilities for students and staff have been refurbished, along with meeting rooms and offices. A canteen also has been built.
TAFE’s acting director of community partnerships and inclusion, Lindy Kemp, said everyone was ‘thrilled’ with the changes.
“This centre is the key centre for the North Coast Institute of TAFE and now we have these state-of-the-art, high-tech facilities,” she said.
“For example, our health and community services students can now train in new practical rooms, which have hospital beds and hospital facilities.
“It is exactly what they would be faced with in the workplace.
“The entire project has been completely industry-driven.”
The refurbishments have doubled the size of the Ballina campus.
Ms Kemp said this meant they would be able to accommodate more students in their courses.
The TAFE’s acting director of IT and creative industries, Ian Kemp, said he expected to see more students enrolling in IT courses, particularly as the National Broadband Network started rolling out.
“The demand for skills in this area is only going to grow,” he said.
“In our new IT section we’ve now got a general-purpose lab and a specialist networking room.”
Page MP Janelle Saffin said the improvements would boost vocational education and training on the Far North Coast.
“These facilities give our students the great advantage of training with equipment that is being used by industry now,” she said.
“Students who complete training here will enter the workforce with invaluable experience.
“The Government is committed to investing in infrastructure that improves vocational education and training to ensure Australia has the skills base we need for the future growth of our economy.”
The Federal Government provided $3.28 million towards the project.