New rural training centre for ag industry
TOOWOOMBA is set to grow its reputation as an agriculture and health training hub following the unveiling of plans for a new multi-million dollar Rural Centre of Excellence as well as upgraded facilities for healthcare training.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman turned the first sod for the new training centre, which is part of a $7 million campus redevelopment at TAFE Queensland Toowoomba.
“Agriculture is vital to the Queensland economy, adding more than $10 billion each year, and the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region is a major contributor,” the Premier said.
“The development of the new Rural Centre of Excellence will help deliver high-quality training to ensure the rural industry’s workforce is equipped with a broad set of up-to-date skills.”
Ms Fentiman said the redevelopment would cater for an additional 400 students at the campus, which currently delivered training to more than 4200 students per year.
“The Rural Centre of Excellence will cater for 200 more students – a welcome addition to the region’s growing agriculture industry, with a 20 per cent jump in enrolments already this year,” Ms Fentiman said.
“It’s fantastic that the new facility will meet Queensland’s future needs with innovation in sustainable agriculture and horticulture as we move to a greener tomorrow.”
The courses will include training in modern primary industry technologies such as high-yield urban farming containers, smart bots and aerial drones for land use and mapping.
“Modern equipment and technologies such as video analysis of cattle in simulated saleyard environments will enhance the student experience and place TAFE Queensland at the forefront of rural delivery.”