New Trade Training Centre opens in Lake Macquarie

Our new Lake Macquarie Trade Training Centre officially opened its doors today, coinciding with National Skills Week.

Located at the Business Growth Centre in Gateshead, the new Trade Training Centre will facilitate practical hands-on training for individuals and businesses, which will be delivered by the Central Coast Community College, our Registered Training Organisation.

College General Manager Debbie Laarkamp said a key focus for the Trade Training Centre will be improving employability for local job seekers, as well as upskilling individuals and small businesses.

“Ultimately, we hope that the provision of a new locally owned and operated training facility with the capacity to deliver trade training will help to address skills shortages, which continue to impact employers,” she said.

“According to Business NSW, more than half of employers in NSW say they are experiencing skill shortages as many young job seekers don’t have the necessary skills or experience.

“Some of the training we’ll be able to deliver here at this new facility includes electrical and mechanical fabrication trades - both of which have been identified as trades experiencing a national skills shortage on the National Skills Needs List.

“This is something we do really well, as the first Community College in Australia to deliver trade training. Anyone interested in pursuing a career in these fields can be assured that they’re learning from the best.”

The launch was initially planned for July but had to be postponed due to the recent floods. Ms Laarkamp said the timing of today’s event is perfect as it aligns with National Skills Week - an initiative entirely dedicated to raising the profile of vocational education and training.

“The launch of the Trade Training Centre signals an exciting period of growth for the College and local community with our long-term investment to the Lake Macquarie region,” she said.

“Our priority is to give local people the skills they need to find a job, but long-term we want to keep these skilled workers in the community and help local businesses thrive, which is why I am incredibly proud to see the Trade Training Centre come to fruition. It is a training centre with a community focus at the forefront.”

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the new centre would help “skill up” local job-seekers.

“Facilities like this are vital to address the skills shortage and train future generations of tradespeople,” she said.

“That’s not just young people coming out of school – it might be older workers seeking a career change, or extra qualification to give them an edge.”

“We want to train them here in Lake Mac and we want to keep them here, rather than having them move elsewhere to train and work.”

The Trade Training Centre is the College’s third campus, in addition to our head office on the University of Newcastle’s Ourimbah campus and the trade-focused Skills Centre located at HVTC’s head office in Rutherford. It incorporates a classroom and training room equipped with welding and thermal benches constructed by current fabrication and electrical apprentices.

Pre-apprenticeships, short courses, High-Risk Work Licences, and small business skills are just some of the training opportunities on offer. The pre-apprenticeship and short course programs are subsided by the NSW Government and are fee-free for eligible students.

The College (RTO 90304) can also deliver a suite of targeted courses, including Smart & Skilled funded Certificate IV in New Small Business, Adult and Community Education (ACE) funded Targeted Skills for Small Business and ACE funded life skills and part qualification training for disadvantaged members of the community.

For more information or to find out more about training opportunities, visit the College website


Three women stand in front of a newly opened trade training centre in the NSW Lake Macquarie region