Australia’s first Advanced Welder Training Centre (AWTC) is set to open in Burnie, Tasmania, with the Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Simon Birmingham, pledging $750,000 worth of funding.
The AWTC will be at the Tasmanian Minerals & Energy Council Centre of Excellence in South Burnie. The newly refurbished centre will feature an advanced augmented reality lab equipped with five Soldamatic welding simulators, as well as advanced technical training to help upskill TasTAFE trainers.
The training delivered at the AWCT will quickly qualify welders to the standard required by ISO 9606-1 Qualification testing of welders - Fusion welding. ISO 9606 is the only standard accepted in both Europe and America. It is a simple test that assesses welding competence according to a specific weld procedure, based on practical acceptance criteria.
According to Weld Australia CEO Geoff Crittenden: “The combination of a curriculum based on global best practice delivered via advanced training technology will help ensure a strong supply of capable welders, both now and well into the future.”
“Without a doubt, the successful implementation of this innovative training initiative will revolutionise welder training in Australia. It will raise the standard of welder education in Australia exponentially, putting our welder training on par with the best in Europe and America.”
Weld Australia convened an Industry Skills Group in mid-2017 to prepare a training curriculum tailored for both experienced welders and transitional workers. The courses were accredited late in 2017 by the Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority. TAFEs around the country can now teach the accredited course, with funding provided by their parent state government.
Weld Australia will work in close collaboration with TMEC to ensure the success of the project, and expect that the AWTC will open in September 2018.
A further five AWTCs are scheduled to receive funding for establishment during 2018, with similar numbers expected in the next two years.