Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter was pleased to host NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, The Hon. Dr Geoff Lee MP in the Hunter recently.

Mr John Turner, Chair, introduced the Minister to Ampcontrol, a founding partner in RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce initiatives, where he saw firsthand how Vocational Education and Training (VET) is shaping the local workforce for the future.

Ampcontrol currently has 45 students participating in VET based roles including 31 apprentices, 13 trainees and one school based apprentice through the P-Tech Australia partnership program.
Apprentices James Ramsay (school-based), Joshua French (4th Year), James Thorley (1st Year) and Taylah Osmond (1st Year) showed Minister Lee through one of the four Tomago site workshops to talk about some of the projects they are currently working on including the design, manufacture and testing of high voltage transformers.

Following the tour, Dr Geoff Lee MP said, “It was great to meet the enthusiastic apprentices working at Ampcontrol, a fantastic company and exemplar for the Hunter region.”

Ampcontrol actively participates and supports industry, education and community collaboration to provide students with pathways to STEM related qualifications and local employment opportunities as part of RDA Hunter’s initiatives.

Each year Ampcontrol offers a range of apprenticeships in the areas of engineering, technology, mechanical and manufacturing. The most recent intake attracted a record 830 applications, an increase of 138% on the previous year.

With the State Government announcement on 18 July that NSW has the highest number of new students in Australia enrolling in vocational education and training, the significant number of Ampcontrol Apprenticeship Program 2020 applicants strongly emphasises the growing interest of young people wanting to learn work-place skills and the technical knowledge required for specific industries.

Commenting on the report, Dr Geoff Lee MP said he is pleased that more people in NSW recognise that VET student participation is a solid pathway towards a meaningful career. “Greater participation in vocational education and training means a more highly skilled workforce,” Mr Lee added.