Federal Member for Hunter, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon, today opened new facilities at the Hunter Institute, Muswellbrook campus that will improve vocational education and training for students.

The Australian Government provided $2.32 million towards the project to build a new electrotechnology building for the delivery of renewable energy training. The NSW Government contributed more than $781,300 to the project.

Mr Fitzgibbon, who opened the facilities on behalf of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, said the project will offer students access to industry-standard equipment and facilities.

“These facilities give our students the great advantage of training with equipment that is being used by industry now,” he 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 $2.32 million for the new facilities was provided by the Australian Government under the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development under the National Training Infrastructure Program which funds the purchase, construction, fit-out or refurbishment of facilities for vocational education and training.

The Government’s investment in vocational education includes $2.5 billion to establish Trades Training Centres in schools across Australia, and more than a billion dollars per year in apprenticeship incentives.

The Government announced the Teaching and Learning Capital Fund for Vocational Education and Training in December 2008. This fund is investing $500 million into the vocational sector for capital infrastructure works and purchases. All projects that received funding will be completed by June 2011.

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