Thousands Of Apprentices To Join Victoria’s Big Build

17 December 2020

Victoria’s most iconic Big Build projects will be the training ground for the state’s next generation of skilled workers under a $33.2 million investment to boost apprenticeships and traineeships.

Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today visited the newly operational Victorian Tunnelling Centre (VTC) to launch Big Build Apprenticeships, which will give apprentices and trainees on-the-job experience on some of the Andrews Labor Government’s biggest projects.

Announced as part of the Victorian Budget 2020/21, the program will create up to 1,500 new opportunities for apprentices and trainees each year, over four years.

TAFEs will play a central role in the program, linking students with real life training on Victoria’s major projects. School leavers and young people including those currently undertaking or looking to begin an apprenticeship or traineeship, are encouraged to apply.

This program will support young people and other jobseekers, helping them get their start working as apprentices or trainees on major projects, while also supporting employers to find the right skilled workers for their business.

A new body, Apprenticeships Victoria, is being established to promote and connect apprentices and trainees with training organisations and employers.

Apprenticeships and traineeships will be created on the North East Link, New Footscray Hospital and the new Warrnambool Learning and Library Hub – with more major projects to join over time. 

The program will initially prioritise displaced apprentices and trainees that have had their training suspended or cancelled because of the global pandemic as well as unrepresented and disadvantaged groups.

VTC is now officially operational and recently welcomed the first intake of workers training for city-shaping projects such as the Metro Tunnel – it was built as part of the Metro Tunnel Project’s contract with Cross Yarra Partnership.

The centre will create a skilled workforce for Victoria’s Big Build projects by training about 5,000 workers a year in underground construction (including tunnel boring machine operation) and maintenance.

The Budget includes an unprecedented investment of $1 billion to ensure Victoria has the training and skills system it needs as the state emerges from the global pandemic.

School leavers and young people including those currently undertaking or looking to begin an apprenticeship or traineeship, are encouraged to apply at

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“Getting apprentices on our major projects is about making sure no one gets left behind because of the pandemic and helping them get the skills they need now and in the future.”

“This investment is about getting apprentices the skills they need to help the economy bounce back.”

“Across Victoria, TAFE students will be working on our major projects getting the real-world training they need.”

Reviewed 17 December 2020

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