Flood water at the North Coast TAFE in Conway Street.
Flood water at the North Coast TAFE in Conway Street. Contributed Yokok Hendrix

Despite the flood, TAFE is here to stay

AROUND $3.5 million is expected to be spent in the restoration of Lismore TAFE

Managing Director of TAFE NSW Jon Black said the money will be used to refurbish 82 rooms across the campus and install necessary teaching aids.

"The campus is undergoing some major refurbishment from the flood,” Mr Black said.

"Initially we thought we could get into the facilities sooner but as it turned out we had some major health issues with mould and such growing in the building, left over from the flood.”

From left Lynelle Boyd, Jon Black, Linda Woodland and Candice Ward.
From left Lynelle Boyd, Jon Black, Linda Woodland and Candice Ward. Samantha Poate

Mr Black said he recently signed contracts for the works to restore the campus to where it should be.

"TAFE sees this investment important because this campus location here in Lismore is important to us for the future and our growth,” he said.

Managing Director, Jon Black visited the Lismore campus on Thursday to announce $3.5 m funding for the next stage of remediation.
Managing Director, Jon Black visited the Lismore campus on Thursday to announce $3.5 m funding for the next stage of remediation. Samantha Poate

"Early next year is when I would like to see this campus back to where is should be, that is at least three months away so we are getting on with the works now.

"We've taken a very measured approach to make sure it is right and regrettably I think other parts of the community are seeing the same thing. When you have flood damage you can address the superficial elements to that but when you dig down into the system we have got some major problems.”

Earlier this year there were rumours circulating stating the TAFE would not reopen.

Mr Black assures the community will have a TAFE again as "TAFE is here to stay”.

"Some people for some reason like to pick on TAFE and I'm telling people they shouldn't be picking on TAFE because it is their TAFE.”

During this time of closure, current students classes have been carried out at Southern Cross University and partnering TAFEs.

Mr Black said TAFE NSW was grateful for their support, however looking into the future, the investment in Lismore TAFE was essential.

"Future investment is important because we are seeing a huge demand for skills and I am pleased to say in this part of the world, enrolments in certificate three's where we see apprenticeships are up by 25% from the last year,” Mr Black said.

"What we are seeing is a massive skills shortage in NSW, for instance at the moment there is 19,000 shortage in chef's, 40,000 short in construction workers.”



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Search suspended for missing yachtie

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UPDATE: The rain is here and there is more to come

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CAUTION: Traffic light outage impacting traffic

Drivers should exercise caution at the affected intersection

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