Komatsu & Hunter Tafe establish a solid foundation of education
The Kurri Kurri Campus is the most significant facility between the Hawkesbury River and the Queensland border for plant and heavy vehicle training and its established reputation for quality has meant strong support by industry for the training it offers.
Komatsu Australia has a strong presence on the Kurri Kurri site, with 100 apprentices in 2012, participating in the company's award-winning Apprentice Development System.
Hunter TAFE delivers a tailored program for all new Komatsu apprentices with its workplace preparation training equipping students with essential trade, safety and First Aid skills for their industry.
The recently signed MOU between the two organisations formalises a partnership that has developed over many years, said Paul Richardson, Komatsu Australia's National Organisation Development Manager.
"The use of TAFE facilities by Komatsu and our equipment for TAFE training forms a key part of the MOU.
"For example, it covers the permanent placement of shared resources, including a WA480 wheel loader and a PC200 excavator, which our apprentices and those of other companies can work on and gain valuable real-machine skills," he said.
"The success of our program here has enabled Komatsu to fly in apprentices from other states to complete our structured apprentice development program and has led to increased national apprentice numbers," Paul said.
In addition to apprentice training Komatsu has also partnered with Hunter TAFE for frontline management training, employee skill upgrades and resource development. A further demonstration of the strength of the relationship and the benefits of the MOU, Komatsu's NSW Learning and Development Centre is located at the Kurri Kurri campus.
Strong industry partnerships such as that signed with Komatsu Australia allow Hunter TAFE students to access equipment used in the mining and road transport industries, as well as technical information that ensures training delivered is both current and matches industry requirements.