Construction begins on Australian-first tunnelling training centre

Construction has commenced on a $16 million Australian-first tunnelling training centre in Victoria.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said workers will acquire the skills they need for employment on infrastructure projects such as the Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and other major transport works.

“The state-of-the-art Victorian Tunnelling Centre (VTC) will be located at Holmesglen Institute’s Drummond Street campus in Chadstone, and will take its first students during Semester one next year,” Ms. Allan said.

“The $16 million centre will train around 3500 local workers in tunnel boring machine operation and underground construction each year, ensuring they are equipped to work on the state government’s pipeline of major tunnelling projects.”

Ms. Allan said the centre will include both mined tunnel and TBM replica tunnels, which will enable workers to familiarise themselves with the different tunnelling methods required to build major infrastructure projects.

“The TBM replica tunnel will be the exact diameter of the Metro Tunnel, while the mined replica tunnel will be as wide as a three-lane freeway,” Ms. Allan said.

“Basic training for workers on the Metro Tunnel project is already being delivered by Holmesglen, including virtual reality tunnelling, mined and bored tunnel inductions and self-rescue techniques. The VTC will take this specialist training to the next level.”

The centre is modelled on the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy, established as part of London’s Crossrail and the Tunnel Training Academy in Kuala Lumpur.

“The Metro Tunnel is also receiving $3.3 million in funding from the state government’s Workforce Training Innovation Fund, to deliver a virtual reality training program to give Victorian’s skills in underground construction, tunnel boring and use of heavy equipment and technology.”

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