With the commencement of TAFE training for 2011 TAFE Western is offering more local training opportunities for apprentices in Mudgee with the establishment of the Mudgee Skills Centre.
Based on a model that has been successfully running in Lithgow for 12 years the Skills Centre, the initiative is a partnership between TAFE and local employers, to provide enhanced training across three trade disciplines during the first year of their apprenticeship in electro-technology, metal fabrication and fitting and machining.
In addition, having the Skills Centre apprentices in Mudgee has meant that local electrical apprentices will be able to undertake the first year of their apprenticeship in Mudgee in 2011.
Mr Mike Gibson, Director Educational Delivery - Manufacturing Engineering Construction and Transport, said the Skills Centre is being established to meet the needs of Xstrata Coal and the Moolarben Mine who wanted their apprentices to be able to train locally.
"This benefits the apprentices who don't have to travel to do their training as well as providing advantages for employers, and the Mudgee community," he said.
"It is a unique opportunity for the apprentices who attend TAFE full time for the first six months of their first year of their apprenticeship."
"While they are attending they get extra value by learning skills in three trade areas, as well as intensively developing skills in occupational health and safety, workplace behaviour, literacy and numeracy, first aid certificate and information technology."
Mr Gibson also said that the training helps equip apprentices for work by reflecting workplace conditions including clocking on and off, timesheets, workplace diary, maintain electronic and workplace experience records.