New training model will target manufacturing skills gaps in key industries

Stuart Ayres, Deborah Sweeney, Sarah Hill, Ahmad Zafar and Katik Kumar.
Share this story

A new $37.4 million training model spearheaded by the NSW Government will help upskill manufacturing workers in western Sydney to keep up with the needs of the future.

Western Sydney University (WSU) has teamed up with GE Additive to deliver micro-credentials through the New Education Training Model (NETM).

Touring the MakerSpace facility at the WSU Kingswood campus where the short courses will begin at the end of the month, Penrith MP Stuart Ayres told the Weekender that the model is a game-changer.

“As manufacturing returns to western Sydney, we know a key driver is the capacity to keep upskilling staff but, in this sense, it is about keeping pace with technology,” he said.

“It is not about going through your traditional long form qualifications in a post graduate sense, but these businesses are moving so rapidly so NETM can create micro courses to update and increase skills quite quickly.”

Delivered through the Western Parkland City Authority (WCPA), the courses will grow the pipeline of skilled workers for a range of cutting-edge industries by teaching skills such as 3D printing.

“We will roll out about 25 courses this year alone and will have lots of local businesses partnering up with providers to meet needs,” said WCPA CEO, Sarah Hill.

“It won’t just be additive manufacturing but everything from designing the office of the future to robotics and data management.”

The NETM will target skills gaps in key industries that will drive the Western Parkland City, with a focus on the new Bradfield City Centre – Australia’s newest city.

GE Aviation Senior Sales Director, Ahmad Zafar said a workforce skilled in additive manufacturing is vital for companies like GE.

For us it is an absolute must to have people skilled on these technologies because traditional manufacturing creates waste and weight, but additive manufacturing takes away all of that,” he said.

“In the aviation business, one kilogram of weight reduced from an aircraft saves three million litres of fuel across the lifespan of the aircraft, which is amazing.”

The range of 100 courses will be completely funded by the NSW Government during the pilot stage, with up to 3,000 students to be trained.

For more information, visit

Share this story