Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Victorian boatbuilders - Up the creek without a paddle

by John Zammit on 31 Jul 2012
boat building - in demand but what institutions will offer training .. ©
Had an interesting conversation with a Melbourne boatbuilder last week that rang in frustration regarding the fact that there is no longer any formal training available for his boatbuilding apprentices in Victoria.

The only TAFE-based, government-subsidized boatbuilding course in Victoria, run by Victoria University (VU) at its Newport campus, is closing down. The reason cited is State Government funding cuts to TAFE, which means a reduction in revenues requiring them to change their business models.

Less than two years ago, in 2010, VU announced plans to relocate their boatbuilding apprenticeship and pre apprenticeship programs to a brand new facility at the Williamstown Maritime Association’s ‘Seaworks’ premises on Williamstown’s waterfront. That relocation never occurred

Late last year, Member for Williamstown, Wade Noonan, speaking in Parliament suggested that the State Government tap into the $3.4m funding grant provided to VU in 2008 specifically to relocate its boatbuilding school from Newport to Williamstown and, redistribute those funds through Skills Victoria to help maintain the boatbuilding course until such time as an agreement is struck to save this vitally important program.

Ben Scullin of the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) said, 'The Victorian boating industry is in danger of losing a generation of apprentices.' According to Scullin, last year around 40 students were enrolled in the boatbuilding courses. Earlier this year there were around 23 apprentices either signed up with, or waiting to be signed up to apprenticeships but, According to Scullin, due to the lack of suitable TAFE courses, there are now only 4 of those apprentices left in a system that will have no suitable course for them to attend after their first year.

The BIAV has been working with Gordon TAFE who has put forward a business case to government suggesting that for seed funding of $750k the Gordon could pick up the course, which VU has discontinued. To date there’s been no commitment to provide the funds.

According to a report by Ernst & Young (2008) about the economic value of boating to the Victorian economy, just in Port Phillip and Western Port alone, was valued at just under $1 billion per annum, add the rest of Victoria and… Well it soon adds up. The same report concluded that the boating industry around those two bays generated 13,420 full time jobs.

The report went further, adding that putting those numbers in perspective they equate to; around two thirds the impact of the Port of Melbourne operations; comparative to the impact of Melbourne Airport and, approximately 7 times the value of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

Co-incidentally, Racing Victoria recently received nearly $80m from the government and, for that matter Circus Oz was given $18m towards relocating their facilities.

Given those numbers it seems incredulous to me that for the sake of $750k we are in danger of losing valuable boatbuilding skills training in Victoria that’s vital in keeping the industry going into the future and, If we don’t get it? Then the boatbuilding industry in Victoria is likely to find itself ‘up the proverbial creek without the skills to build a paddle’ (pun intended).
InSunSport - NZZhik Yachting 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
PredictWind - One stop shop
PredictWind have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software PredictWind the world leader in forecasting believe that more is better, and have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software.
Posted on 15 Aug
Marine Resources job updates
Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Marine Resources specialises in providing expert recruitment services to the leisure marine industry worldwide. Jobseekers register your CV now to receive the latest vacancies and be matched to your ideal job. Employers choose from a variety of recruitment options which include a full consultancy service as well as a unique job advertising package.
Posted on 11 Aug
America's Cup - Southern Spars to build AC50 for Emirates Team NZ
Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran One of the world's leading composite engineering companies, Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran for the 35th America’s Cup campaign. The move marks a shift away from Cookson Boats who have been Team New Zealand's boatbuilder since 2000. No reasons have been given for the decision to change the builder.
Posted on 24 Jul
Upffront.com - Tuff Luff and Harken Headfoils
Upffront.com is a comprehensive online purchasing platform for performance sailing hardware and rigging systems Upffront.com is a comprehensive online purchasing platform for performance sailing hardware and rigging systems; orders are processed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and we deliver to customers located anywhere in the world.
Posted on 8 Jul
Barz floating sunglasses - Ideal for sailing in rough conditions
Our SAN JUAN floating model fitted with 1.1mm Acetate Lenses have a density of 0.95 GM/ML Barz floating sunglasses float in rough conditions. Most sunglasses that say they float, only float in the bathtub as once they break surface tension (or if there is any movement on top of the water)... down they go...
Posted on 7 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
11th Hour Racing to present at annual Green Sports Alliance Summit
11th Hour Racing is headed to Houston, Texas, to present at the annual Green Sports Alliance Summit 11th Hour Racing is headed to Houston, Texas, to present at the annual Green Sports Alliance Summit, June 28-30, the world’s largest gathering for the sports community around sustainability, including both professional and collegiate sports teams, leagues and venues.
Posted on 25 Jun
PredictWind - Stunning new forecast maps
When developing the Offshore App, we had to rethink maps for offshore sailors. When developing the Offshore App, we had to rethink maps for offshore sailors. The mapping technology was rebuilt to be faster, have smaller downloads and be able to smoothly animate PredictWind’s advanced forecasts. Following the success of the Offshore App, we’re releasing this unique display technology across all other platforms, including the forecast website, Android and iOS Apps
Posted on 24 Jun
Extreme Sailing Series™ partners with Cisco Systems
The global technology company will provide exclusive networking solutions that will transform wireless connectivity The first venue at which members of the public, race officials and sailors will benefit from the Cisco WiFi solutions will be Cardiff – the third Act of the 2016 season – where the action gets underway on the water on 23 June. As an Official Series Supplier, Cisco will provide similar facilities at the remaining Acts of 2016.
Posted on 22 Jun