17 March 2011 –The first green-plumbing trade school in Victoria has been opened in Melbourne by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet and the federal member for Deakin, Mike Symon.

The federally-funded Swinburne TAFE school in Croydon, Melbourne consists of a trades building and plumbing tower to deliver green training for the building, construction and plumbing fields. The school will also run short courses on solar energy.

The $10 million project was part of the federal government’s $200 million “training infrastructure investment for tomorrow” program which delivered 32 projects at TAFE institutes across Australia.  The project added approximately 3500 square metres of floor space to the Swinburne campus.

“It’s a boost for Croydon and an important step to meet the growing need for skilled workers in green trades,” Mr Combet said.  Mr Symon said 10,000 new apprentices would be trained over the next five years.  A total of 120 apprentices will start in 2012. The pre-apprenticeship groups have already graduated and the first apprentice group will graduate around May 2012.