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Media Release: TNE and cotton industry partnership comes to fruition

The Narrabri and Moree communities have welcomed the training of more than 50 employees from the local cotton ginning industry who are completing a customised training program developed by TAFE New England for the Australian Cotton Ginners Association.

The inaugural training program is the culmination of more than five years of consultation between the two organisations, and has been tailored to the needs of this growing industry, together with local producers and Members of the Australian Cotton Ginning Association.

An increase in production of cotton over the course of the last four years across NSW has necessitated a review of training packages to ensure current and potential staff are trained in all cotton ginning, engineering and legislative requirements. 

Namoi Cotton Operational Manager and Australian Cotton Ginning Association President, Andrew Vanderstok, said “What we are aiming to do is to ensure that the cotton industry can train and ultimately retain professional and certified staff members into the future”.

“We are delighted that this training program can be delivered locally to our employees, ensuring business continuity. TAFE New England have worked closely with the industry to ensure the training is relevant, practical and will prepare our employees to make the transition into the full qualification of Certificate III in Cotton Ginning”, Mr Vanderstok added.

This year, Department of Industry (State Training Services) has been able to support the program, with funded training through the Smart and Skilled Targeted Priorities Prevocational and Part Qualifications program. The program is a NSW government initiative which focuses on training to help people develop the skills they need to get a job, undertake entry level qualifications or transition to a new job.

Yesterday, the Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, announced that a range of fee-free training options are available for study at TAFE New England campuses across the region under the program. The training is available to eligible students who enrol before 31 December 2015.