By HARRY CLARKE
THE Queensland Government is forging ahead on an election promise to build a state-of-the-art training facility in Chinchilla that will give local high school students the trade skills needed to forge careers directly in the region’s industries.
In details provided exclusively to the Caller, Education Minister Grace Grace (pictured) said construction of a $3 million Trade Training Centre would begin on land owned by Chinchilla State High School at the southern end of Leichhardt St in the first half of next year.
“The new building will include a state-of-the-art design space, engineering fabrication centre, material and cleaning stores, data and plant rooms, and a wet bench area,” Ms Grace said.
“These projects are all about linking students with local industry and giving them the skills they need to secure well-paid jobs in their local area.
Construction, which will to support about seven local jobs, is scheduled begin in Term 2 of next year and is expected to be completed by the beginning of Term 1 one of 2023.
The new building will provide new learning spaces for the school to hold engineering classes to support training opportunities in the local mining, gas and electrical industries.
The block of land on which the Trade Training Centre is being built is situated on Leichhardt St adjacent to Chinchilla State High School’s student accommodation facility, Leichhardt House, and within a few hundred metres of the school grounds.
CSHS Principal Ian Insley said the school community was “very excited” by the government’s committment, and that the facility would compliment its agricultural education program which is carried out on the same block of land.
“As a school we have needed something like this for a while,” Mr Insley said.
“The fact that the education department has identified the need for us to create a link, between what we’re doing in the school and what’s needed in the local industry, is exciting.
“It will be responsive to community needs. For example, if the industry needs kids coming kids coming out of school who know how to poly weld, then we’re able to respond to that.
“It’s a great thing to be able to keep our kids employed in the community. It’s great for all of the big companies in the area to be able to source their employees from our students.
“It’s going to allow us to also support our agricultural program as well. Currently we don’t have a teaching facility over there. We’ve got sheds and we have a lot of machinery, but we currently don’t have anything as far as a teaching space.
“The ability for our staff to deliver practical components as well as the theoretical components on site is a real benefit for us.”
The project is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $45 million “Local Schools Local Jobs” commitment.