From certificate to PhD: Post-school one stop shop unrivalled in Queensland

CQU Vice Chancellor Scott Bowman, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd and Associate Vice Chancellor Owen Nevin look over the plans for the new TAFE Trades Training site, which will be situated near the PELM (Process Engineering and Light Metals) building.

CQ University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman was joined by the Federal Member for Flynn, Mr Ken O’Dowd and Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett, today to celebrate the commencement of the design and construction phase of the Gladstone TAFE Trades Training site, which will see all TAFE students relocating from Derby Street to the Marina campus.

The $12.5 million project, funded by the university and the Federal Government will include the construction of a state-of-the-art TAFE Trades Training Centre, Hair and Beauty Salons, and the refurbishment of existing learning and teaching spaces and staff offices.

Professor Bowman said the Derby Street facility, which has been operating since the 1980s was terribly dated, with “almost Victorian workhouse-like facilities”.

“While we updated a lot of the equipment in that facility, the style of teaching has changed so much over that thirty-year period it’s no longer appropriate to modern learning,” Associate Vice-Chancellor Nevin said.

“What always strikes me when I visit the facility is there are rows and rows of the same machine and there would have been an instructor up the front. The style of teaching changes so we have limited the class sizes now, so the instructor can have more interaction with the students.”

“They’re not just learning to pull levers on a machine, they’re learning a skill, they’re learning a trade, they’re learning to think and to design and the whole package. So modernising the facility will allow that,” he said.

The TAFE’s move happens as Derby Street undergoes a separate transformation, lead by Mercy Health, into an intergenerational village and aged-care facility. Also mooted for the sites are upgrades to athletics facilities including a synthetic running track.

Gladstone is the only region in Queensland where all levels of post-school education and training from certificate to PhD are being delivered on the one site.