Thousands of young people are set to benefit after the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) Training and Apprenticeships Centre of Excellence in Chullora was officially opened today by Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

“This is a first-class training facility and a testament to the hard work of NECA. This Centre will make a significant contribution towards boosting the skills capability of thousands of young people,” Mr Barilaro said.

“What I have seen today is hugely encouraging as we look to get more people into Vocational Education and Training to address ongoing skills shortages.”

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the specialist facility will be used to train first year electrician apprentices, with the majority of the organisations’ 550 NSW-based apprentices to commence studying there over the next two years.

“Equipped with the latest electro technology materials and tools, the Centre of Excellence is well positioned to become one of the best of its kind in Australia,” Mr Lee said.

“I’m pleased to see NECA helping to ensure electrical apprentices in NSW have access to a high-quality learning environment where they can develop skills that are increasingly in demand.”

NSW’s infrastructure boom is just one factor that has contributed to a shortage of electricians, which the Centre will help to address.

The Centre is expected to grow to include nearly 500 apprentices and 1300 post-trade per learners each year. In total, 7000 apprentices and tradespeople will receive electrotechnology training there over the next five years.

Suresh Manickam, CEO of NECA said It is a proud moment for everyone at NECA to be joined by the Deputy Premier as we officially open the Centre of Excellence.

“What’s important is that young people understand the excellent training they receive as part of an electrical apprenticeship, as well as the well-paid and rewarding career they can expect when they qualify.

“We encourage young people, their parents and carers, and teachers and education professionals to visit the facilities to learn about an electrical apprenticeship and the fantastic career that follows.”