The new South Waikato Trades Training Centre is making strong progress with the funding contracts being signed to complete the $14m project. Professional services firms have been appointed to undertake the next phases of design, engineering and cost management for the Centre.
The project is being led by the South Waikato Investment Fund Trust (SWIFT) in close liaison with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology who will be the training provider. The Centre was awarded a Government grant of $10.84 million in August last year and is being co-funded with a $1 million grant from Trust Waikato and SWIFT covering the balance of the costs.
SWIFT Chairman Bruce Sherman says, “It’s great to have those contracts signed and funds coming in. This allows us to really fast track every aspect of the project and achieve the ultimate goal – local people into local jobs, fully equipped with the knowledge, skills and support for the future of work.”
The next steps include essential engagement with local iwi Raukawa and the Pacific Islands community. The aspiration and one of the key measures of success is to encourage and assist young Māori and Pacifica into the trades and further learning in a place that makes them feel supported, culturally acknowledged, and enthused.
South Waikato District Mayor Jenny Shattock said the new South Waikato Trades Training Centre was an excellent example of the South Waikato education, business and local government sectors working together to help the district thrive and grow economically and socially.
“The Centre’s location near State Highway 1 will provide a fabulous new gateway to the northern entrance to Tokoroa and will complement the recent town centre redevelopment.”
The Centre will be a combined 3500M2 of learning, workshop and staff space with a commercial kitchen, café and barber shop. It will also have a space allocated for a digital and entrepreneurial hub to help address the deep digital divide and assist young people into their own businesses. Toi Ohomai has a long history and commitment to providing trades training in the South Waikato to align with local industry including logistics, engineering, mechanical, construction and hospitality.
The project provides the opportunity to encourage local firms across the Waikato region to tender as much as possible to help assist the local economies and to provide job opportunities. This aligns with the Government’s emphasis on driving the economy through trades and skills training as well as stimulating construction and growth.
The project is being managed by Veros Waikato and principal Peter Williams says “Veros is excited to be involved in such a significant project for South Waikato. Design is being fast-tracked and we’re looking forward to site works commencing following procurement of a main contractor.”