[singlepic id=390 w=320 h=240 float=left] Skill360 Australia celebrated the official opening of its $1.3 million Trades Training Centre today.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt represented Employment, Skills and Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe at the opening in Manunda.

Skill360 Australia is an industry-based organisation that works with businesses to recruit apprentices and re-train existing staff in Far North Queensland with the support of the State Government.

Mr Pitt said the Queensland Government provides over $2.2 million a year in operational funding to Skill360 across the State.

“This is a sign of the Bligh Government’s commitment to providing skills, training and employment opportunities for young Queenslanders, particularly in regional areas,” Mr Pitt said.

“This new training centre in Manunda will offer more than 600 local apprentices and pre-vocational students up-to-date training across a range of in-demand trades.

“That’s great news for Far North Queensland and it will go a long way to assisting students preparing to work in industries that are currently experiencing skills shortages.

“Queensland needs skilled workers and providing top-quality training opportunities will help meet demand now and in the future.

“There will also be a strong focus on the local Indigenous workforce.

“Skill360 also has an outstanding reputation in providing outstanding, personalised training for indigenous participants, and organising training initiatives within indigenous communities.”

Formerly known as the Cairns Region Group Training, which was established in 1984, Skill360 oversees the employment over 1,000 apprentices and trainees in 30 different trade areas.

“Skill360’s service ranges from Cardwell in the south to Torres Strait Islands in the north, west across the Tablelands and Gulf and all off-shore islands to the east,” Mr Pitt said.

“They have helped more than 15,000 locals gain nationally accredited qualifications by matching suitable apprentices with employers and overseeing training.”

Mr Hinchliffe said the Skill360 Trades Training Centre provided training in carpentry, cabinet making and plastering, as well as forklift training and other short apprenticeship courses.

“This new training centre is a significant investment in Far North Queensland’s future, and it will help many young people gain a trade and long term work,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“These centres are also about developing a more skilled workforce which can contribute to Queensland’s long-term economic development.”

Mr Pitt said the Australian Government provided $650,000 for the new training centre through the National Training Infrastructure Program – funds matched by an industry contribution.

“Boosting the qualifications and skills of the state’s workers improves our industries and means we all enjoy better services and a healthier economy for our whole state,” Mr Pitt said.

“The new Centre will also help the State Government meet its target for three out of four Queenslanders to hold a trade, training or tertiary qualification by 2020.”