Major enabling works on the new TAFE SA Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC) at Tonsley Park have now begun.
Employment, Higher Education and Skills Minister, Tom Kenyon, says Baulderstone has been awarded the $105 million contract to build the centre on the old Mitsubishi site at Tonsley Park.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Baulderstone on their successful tender,” Mr Kenyon said.
“This is an important milestone in the development of South Australia’s building and construction training hub, which will create a learning environment of unprecedented quality, sustainability and efficiency.
“The new centre will help meet the growing skills needs of the building industry and ensure it has a workforce capable of implementing new technologies that will move our State to a low carbon future.
“TAFE SA is the anchor tenant of the site with other industry and training organisations expected to take up the opportunity to co-locate in the state-of-the-art facility.
“I’m particularly pleased that Baulderstone intends to involve TAFE SA students and staff as the construction develops.
“This means that well before the centre is officially opened in 2014, the construction phase will have provided a teaching and learning tool for students and apprentices as strong preparation for a career in the State’s $4.5 billion construction and building industry.”
Mr Kenyon said that when built, the new education centre will provide 40,000 square metres of world class, energy efficient trade training infrastructure.
“It will transform training in the building, construction and water industries and open the way to incorporating cleaner, green technology into future building projects,” he said.
While Baulderstone have been conducting preliminary works over the past few weeks, from this week and in the coming months, the old Mitsubishi assembly plant will undergo dramatic changes.
“First the existing roofing will be removed and replaced,” Mr Kenyon said.
“The structure will then be re-clad and retro-fitted, creating a truly unique and iconic structure that builds on the industrial heritage of the site and of the State. It is also environmentally responsible to reuse the existing steel structure and concrete slab.
“TAFE SA’s building and construction programs will be co-located in the new centre, while an innovative education partnership between TAFE SA and our universities will give students increased flexibility to move between the different tertiary sectors.
“The new centre will see an increase in enrolments in these programs from the current 6200 students, to more than 8000 per annum.
“At present the building and construction industry is facing significant skills shortages with demand for building and construction qualifications predicted to increase dramatically over the next few years.”
The project is the result of a State Government decision to make the largest ever investment of $195 million in South Australia’s vocational education and training infrastructure.
This includes $125 million for the Tonsley training hub (including associated sub projects) and $70 million committed to recent upgrading of TAFE SA facilities around the State.
Mr Kenyon said the Sustainable Industries Education Centre complements the State Government’s Skills for All reforms, which aim to revitalise the training system, with more people in training, greater training options for students, better skills and a stronger economy for South Australia.
“To achieve these goals, the State Government has committed an extra $194 million over the next six years, which when combined with the existing investment on the Productivity Places Program, will support an additional 100,000 training places,” he said.
Construction is expected to be completed late in 2013 with the first students starting in 2014.