New course to help upskill our tradies

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

TAFE NSW has moved to help combat one of Deni’s most critical skills shortage areas by offering a Certificate IV in Engineering at TAFE NSW Deniliquin for the first time.

The qualification, being offered for semester two, is aimed at upskilling those already working in the engineering fields of fitting and machining, welding and metal fabrication.

Riverina Allweld managing director Simon Thomas, a Deni local who has put more than a dozen apprentices through TAFE NSW, said the higher level qualification was a welcome addition.

‘‘It can only benefit the local community to have more skills training in this area,’’ Mr Thomas said.

‘‘This Certificate IV will help the next generation of young tradesmen step up and build their capability. That will then allow businesses like ours to bring in more complex work from bigger centres, and that can only benefit the local economy.’’

TAFE NSW metal fabrication and welding teacher Andrew McBurnie said the course offering was in response to feedback from the business community.

‘‘In speaking with local employers, some are just starving for staff,” Mr McBurnie said.

‘‘There are so many jobs out there across the broader region and there’s certainly money to be made for qualified engineers. There are plenty of employers willing to pay over and above the market rate to get a good person out here.’’

Mr McBurnie said the course was largely targeted at those who had completed a Certificate III in Engineering and were hoping to build on their specialist skills in fitting and machining, metal fabrication and welding.