Victorian Tunnelling Centre set to open

Melbourne will soon be home to Australia’s first tunnelling training centre.

The Victorian Tunnelling Centre will be based at Holmesglen Institute’s Drummond Street Campus, with its first students due to start in semester one of next year.

Thousands of local workers will be trained in underground construction and tunnelling, giving them the skills needed to build major transport projects such as the Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel.

Workers will have the opportunity to gain Certificate and Diploma level qualifications and safety-based training for working on underground tunnelling projects, in life-like working conditions modelled on the London Crossrail Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy and Kuala Lumpur’s Tunnel Training Academy.

They will learn the art of tunnel boring machine (TBM) operation and underground construction in both mined tunnel and TBM replica tunnels, including a TBM replica tunnel, which will be the same diameter as the proposed Metro Tunnel.

The Labor Government’s Workforce Training Innovation Fund will provide a further $3.3 million to fund a virtual reality program to give workers further skills in underground construction, tunnel boring and using heavy equipment and technology.

Minister for transport infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the Victorian Tunnelling Centre will prepare workers for the Andrews Labor Government’s pipeline of upcoming major tunnelling projects.

“We’re giving workers the skills they need to build our unprecedented pipeline of transport projects,” Allan said.

“We’re creating local jobs as we build the infrastructure Victorians need to get home safer and sooner.”

Holmesglen Institute will offer new and existing courses for 3500 workers each year to support Victoria’s growing construction and engineering industries.