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A new training skills centre has officially opened in Port Macquarie by Enterprise and Training Company Limited (ETC).

“We are really excited to be offering this facility to help address skill shortages in Port Macquarie,” ETC CEO Jenny Barnett said.

Ms Barnett said the ETC Skills Training Centre had been designed to train the future workforce in the areas of Childcare, Hospitality, Retail, Aged Care and Business.

“There’s nothing quite like this in Port Macquarie. The Centre will enable students to have exposure to different industries, all in the one location, making them more multi-skilled and versatile employees,” Ms Barnett said.

ETC’s General Manager Training Karen Busby said the Centre was all about giving local job seekers the hands-on, practical skills and confidence they needed to secure work in some of our region’s highest employing industries.

“This by no means replaces the importance of industry based training. Instead it is covering that important middle ground by better preparing students for workplace based training,” Ms Busby said.

“We hear all too often from employers that there are skills gaps in their businesses and they need new staff who are ready to hit the ground running. The ETC Skills Training Centre will go a long way towards addressing this need.”

Ms Busby said the Centre focussed on experiential learning.

“We wanted to improve the student experience by moving away from traditional classroom and workbook learning to a more modern approach,” Ms Busby said.

“Our students are learning by doing. Aged Care students for example are practicing how to care for the elderly by using manikins, lifters and the latest Aged Care equipment. Hospitality students have a purpose built cafe to practise making and serving food and beverages that also converts into a retail space.

“Importantly, the ETC Skills Training Centre was designed based on input from employers and our students. Our Childcare students for example, played a key role in setting up the Childcare space to reflect an actual Childcare Centre.

Ms Barnett said the ETC Skills Training Centre would not only benefit local job seekers but also local employers.

“We are hoping to work closely with local employers by giving them opportunities to come and see potential new recruits in action,” Ms Barnett said.

“They will be able to see first-hand how well the students are being prepared for the workforce.”

The ETC Skills Training Centre is located above ETC’s existing employment services offices at 133-137 Gordon Street, Port Macquarie.

For further information contact ETC’s Training Manager Paula Skinner on 0427 712 625.

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