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TAFE Queensland’s Marine Centre of Excellence sets sail

TAFE Queensland continues to be a major contributor to the Gold Coast marine industry with the new $11.8 million Marine Centre of Excellence at Coomera.

Max Trifaro – Cert II Marine Mechanical Technology

A nod to the diverse and growing needs of the local marine industry, the new campus can accommodate up to 500 students studying Certificate III Marine Craft Construction and Certificate III in Marine Mechanical Technology.

Karen Dickinson, General Manager of TAFE Queensland on the Gold Coast said the facility is the only one of its kind in the state and will train and prepare the workforce for the anticipated growth in the superyacht and marine industry.

“TAFE Queensland collaborates with employers and industry to shape our courses so that they align seamlessly with the ever-evolving requirements of the marine sector to ensure our graduates are confident and capable,” she said.

Patrick Bognar – Certificate III Marine Mechanical Technology

The campus has four classrooms, three soundproof workshops, mezzanine viewing platforms and demonstration screens for immersive teaching. It also boasts fiberglass chambers, mobile spray-painting booths, and a spacious pergola for boat storage.

Open to all, the campus mirrors the Gold Coast’s vibrant community, welcoming school-based learners, international students, and apprentices of all ages.

Among its thriving talents is Jack Sutherland, a 20-year-old second year apprentice in Marine Craft Construction at Maritimo.

Jack, who left school to pursue his maritime dreams said the Marine Centre of Excellence has exceeded expectations, offering abundant workshop space and state-of-the-art facilities.

“The new campus has everything I need to refine my craft to the best of my ability and I love that I get to do things that I might not have the opportunity to explore in a regular work setting,” said Jack.

Jack Sutherland – Cert III Marine Craft Construction

Meanwhile, Jac Harman, a former army truck driver turned 1st-year apprentice at Maritimo said his time on campus gives him the opportunity to acquire new skills applicable to his workplace.

“The projects we work on in the workshop allow me to use tools I haven’t used before and the practical projects allow me to express creativity while honing my craft,” said Jac.

Jac’s long-term goals are centred around a vision for a more sustainable future.

“As I move through my apprenticeship and after graduating, I would love to incorporate a more sustainable way to build boats using recycled materials,” he said.

The campus was designed with an eye on sustainability with large air tunnels and louver windows allowing ample ventilation – echoing Jac’s commitment to becoming an eco-conscious tradesman.