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PARTEC celebrates 300 composite course graduates

17 March 2016

Three hundred composite technicians have graduated from courses offered by PARTEC's Composites Training Centre, based in Brisbane, Qld. In this article, a Composites Australia writer takes a look behind the scenes.

There’s something energising about every aspect of Australia’s largest composites training centre, Queensland’s PARTEC Institute. Its teachers, graduates and leadership are enthused about working with fibre composites.
“We want students to go back to their workplace energised and excited about what they have learned,” says Manager Roger Cater. “They gain the skills and are motivated to contribute to their workplace.
“Training doesn’t represent loss of productivity. Employers tell us productivity improves. It’s the way we teach and our facilities. We are a simulated factory with the latest equipment and the teacher is their supervisor. It’s non-classroom training.”

The 500 square metre Brisbane composites training centre is setup as a small manufacturing enterprise and equipped for hand-lay up, resin infusion, gel-coat spray-up, a 3-axis CNC router, pre-preg storage freezer (-30C), plus a temperature and humidity-controlled clean room for aerospace composites work.

A registered Training Organisation, PARTEC delivers the Certificate III - Composites Technician apprenticeship plus short courses in areas such as tooling design, toolmaking and CNC operation, pipeline welding, injection moulding and FRP short courses. Tailored courses are also delivered to meet a company’s special needs. Apprentices currently come from as far afield as Tasmania.
An audit committee with representatives from manufacturing, material suppliers and graduates regularly reviews the centre’s standard of training, identifies new and emerging industry requirements and overseas trends to keep pace with industry needs.

“We don’t allow the training to fossilise,” says Mr Cater who is working towards establishing a similar centre in northern NSW to fill the gap left with the closure of Newcastle TAFE two years ago.

“We know there are manufacturers in northern and central NSW looking for apprenticeship training for their people. We are looking at providing half their course here in Brisbane at the training centre and half in the workplace. When it gets to the stage of being self-sustaining, then we can re-open the Newcastle centre,” says Mr Cater. “Cross-border NSW and Queensland government collaboration is developing slowly, with the harmonisation of qualifications now being encouraged by Canberra.”

Course contact details:
PARTEC*
1030 Cavendish Road
PO Box 459
Mt Gravatt Qld 4122
Australia

Telephone: (07) 3849 7878
Facsimile: (07) 3849 7876
Email: admin[at]partec.qld.edu.au

Issued:
17/03/2016