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The new HVAC Centre of Excellence at Holmesglen’s Chadstone campus in Melbourne was officially opened this week by the Victorian Skills Commissioner, Neil Coulson.

Some 100 guests from HVAC and associated industries attended the event which is a collaborative partnership between Holmesglen TAFE and the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association (AMCA).

The Centre is the first ever HVAC training centre to offer applied learning and features cutting-edge equipment and technology.

The purpose-fit, modern facility will upskill existing climate control technicians and train tomorrow’s mechanical services professionals, both in Australia and internationally. It will provide leadership across the vocational education and training sector and drive mechanical services training in Victoria.

In his speech, Coulson acknowledged the importance of collaboration between education providers and industry to secure the future prosperity of the trades.

“As the Victorian Skills Commissioner, my role is to work with industry stakeholders and government to better align training with the needs of Victorian industry and the economy. And, as I see it, genuine collaboration between training providers and industry which is based on industry intelligence and the exchange of ideas, is key to achieving this alignment,” he said.

“I see this Centre as an example of doing it right. It is an arrangement that effectively leverages the expertise and mission of each of the parties.”

“Your collaboration will be a powerful force in future-proofing the HVAC industry and is an example to which other industries can aspire.”

AMCA Victoria president, Alex Hall, said the HVAC industry is rapidly advancing and consequently the skills required by new entrants and qualified tradespersons is changing.

“AMCA is committed to developing and growing partnership arrangements with TAFEs to address these challenges,” Hall said.

AMCA national president, Russell Telford, reiterated Hall’s message that AMCA engagement with the VET sector is its overriding principle.

Telford said there are three key themes to industry and VET collaboration to secure the industry’s future prosperity.

“ Firstly, to establish a culture of co-investment between VET, industry and government. Secondly, renewing the focus of quality industry-led outcomes. Thirdly, elevating the status of apprenticeships by communicating how it will lead to a sustainable career pathway,” he said.

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