REPRESENTATIVES from Whitsunday Industrial Workforce Development (WIWD) attended the Major Projects Summit in Bowen last week, where chairman Colin Thompson officially launched the project's new website and announced two major milestones for workforce and industry development in the region.
Mr Thompson said one of the most significant projects WIWD had been working on was an apprentice program titled 'Unified to Qualified' (U2Q).
"This program is the first of its kind in Australia and is a partnership between the mining sector and local community in which it works to train apprentices for the mines," he said.
"We are pleased to announce that a pilot to train 10 apprentices has been signed by a large mining company. Details will be released in November."
Mr Thompson said both the local community and mining company would benefit from the arrangement with apprentices having the opportunity of a long-term career path in the mining industry.
"We are pleased that we already have other mining companies showing an interest in this program and look forward to working with them in the future," he said.
Mr Thompson also announced plans to open a mine training facility in 2013.
"This facility will be established and administered by WIWD and will be open to all RTO's [Registered Training Organisations] to utilise. It will be one of only two in Australia and will attract business from across Australia and beyond, bringing significant economic benefits for the region. We have identified a site and plans are well advanced to open in mid to late 2013," he said.
WIWD is an industry-run project under the auspices of Whitsunday Marketing and Development, that aims to train and develop the region's workforce to respond to the growing demands of the industrial sector.
For more information contact project manager Wendy Bradley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wiwd.com.au.
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