20 December 2023
Offering courses in marine craft construction and marine mechanics, the Marine Centre of Excellence at the Coomera TAFE campus has four classrooms, three soundproof workshops, mezzanine viewing platforms and demonstration screens for immersive teaching.
It also boasts fibreglass chambers, mobile spray-painting booths, and a spacious pergola for boat storage. Open to all, the campus mirrors the Gold Coast’s vibrant community, welcoming school-based learners, international students, and apprentices of all ages.
Among its thriving talents is Jack Sutherland, a 20-year-old second year apprentice in Marine Craft Construction at Maritimo.
Jack, who left school to pursue his maritime dreams said the Marine Centre of Excellence has exceeded expectations, offering abundant workshop space and state-of-the-art facilities. “The new campus has everything I need to refine my craft to the best of my ability, and I love that I get to do things that I might not have the opportunity to explore in a regular work setting,” said Jack.
Jac Harman, a former army truck driver turned first-year apprentice at Maritimo said his time on campus gives him the opportunity to acquire new skills applicable to his workplace.
“The projects we work on in the workshop allow me to use tools I haven’t used before and the practical projects allow me to express creativity while honing my craft,” said Jac.
Jac’s long-term goals are centred around a vision for a more sustainable future. “As I move through my apprenticeship and after graduating, I would love to incorporate a more sustainable way to build boats using recycled materials,” he said.
TAFE Queensland Gold Coast General Manager, Karen Dickinson, said the campus was designed with an eye on sustainability, echoing Jac’s commitment to becoming an eco-conscious tradesman.
“The campus has been built with sustainability in mind, with large air tunnels and louvre windows allowing ample ventilation,” said Ms Dickinson.
“TAFE Queensland values the nurturing of skilled professionals who graduate with social and environmental responsibilities etched into their everyday lives and careers.”
With a significant surge in marine student numbers over the past five years, TAFE Queensland is poised to triple its capacity in the next two years, with the new campus accommodating up to 500 students.
Ms Dickinson credits the success of marine enrolment numbers to the dedication of teachers and staff who work with industry professionals to bridge the gap between education and industry needs.
“Year after year, our staff collaborate with employers and industry professionals, shaping our courses to align seamlessly with the ever-evolving requirements of the marine sector to produce confident and capable graduates,” she said.
TAFE Queensland’s Marine Centre of Excellence is positioned to be a hub for shaping the next generation of skilled professionals, ready to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the marine industry.