Northern Tablelands MP and Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall, centre, with University of New England Vice Chancellor Annabelle Duncan, left, and TAFE Digital General Manager Megan Aitken outside the new $6 million TAFE Digital Headquarters in Armidale.
Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Skilled educators and innovators flock to Armidale
THE opening of the new $6 million TAFE NSW Digital Headquarters almost 12 months ago heralded the start of TAFE’s new digital age and the beginning of a jobs boom for Armidale.
Northern Tablelands MP and Minister responsible for TAFE Adam Marshall today revealed that more than half of the new employees at TAFE Digital’s Headquarters relocated to the region to take up jobs in the new educational facility.
“Over the last year TAFE Digital has grown rapidly and is now fully staffed with 50 full-time positions, 26 of whom relocated from all corners of Australia and the world to take up the wonderful opportunity to work at this cutting-edge facility,” Mr Marshall said.
“I’ve had the pleasure to meet with all the TAFE Digital employees and found that they had chased the opportunity to work here from Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Port Macquarie, Gold Coast, Taree and also regional locations like Tamworth, Narrabri and Dubbo.
“There were even two employees who hailed from Poland and Lithuania!
“Not only are they relishing the opportunity to work at the forefront of the Digital VET Industry, they also praised Armidale for its community spirit and resources.
Many of these specialist staff have relocated with their families here and are impressed with the educational opportunities in Armidale.
“It’s a fact of life that when you around something all the time you tend to forget how unique or special it can be – many of us who live in Armidale forget that it’s a city and region with great opportunities, fantastic facilities and sporting venues and despite being a city, retains that country town hospitality.
“Our new residents see all this with clear eyes and all of them are enjoying settling down in Armidale.”
Mr Marshall said the success of TAFE Digital was also proof that there was simply no argument supporting any case to have all government facilities pigeon-holed in the big cities.
“TAFE Digital Headquarters are currently full, thriving and developing world-class technology in the virtual and augmented reality, robotics and 3D printing spaces, including strategic partnerships with some of the world’s biggest Universities including Stanford in the United States,” Mr Marshall said.
“All this activity and innovation is happening despite naysayers saying it ‘wouldn’t work’ in Armidale.
“The move of 50 new full-time jobs in a congested suburb in Sydney means nothing – here it’s mutually beneficial to our new residents and our region.
“In fact, people leap at the chance to take their skills to rural and regional NSW, put them to use and also benefit from the high quality of living we enjoy.”
TAFE Digital offers students more than 250 new courses, ranging from wool classing to online cybersecurity. The Digital Headquarters is responsible for producing content for these courses, using the latest in virtual reality, augmented reality and simulation.