Australia’s Victorian government has said that it will open a AUS$16M facility to training tunnelling specialists to deliver its current Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel projects and planned North East Link, Melbourne Airport Rail Link and Suburban Rail Loop tunnel schemes.
The Victorian Tunnelling Centre will train and skill local workers in underground construction and tunneling and is based on London’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy that was established to serve Crossrail.
The new centre will include a replica tunnel with a full-height entrance, three multi-purpose engineering workrooms and training facilities including tunnel shaft and concrete lining spray simulators, as well as virtual reality experiences.
The Holmesglen Institute will offer both existing and new courses at the tunnelling centre, including certificate and diploma qualifications as well as safety-based training for working underground. By 2021, it is estimated up to 5,000 students will participate in training courses at the centre each year.
Victorian government premier Daniel Andrews said: “This is the biggest-ever pipeline of transport projects in Victoria’s history. We’re not only creating thousands of jobs as we deliver these vital projects – we’re making sure local workers have the skills they need to build them.”