The Victorian Tunnelling Centre is now operational and thousands of local workers will soon be able to be skilled at the Australian-first tunnelling training facility.

North East Link has equally co-funded the $16 million project ensuring Victorians are leaders at tunnel boring machine operation, innovation, underground construction and training up its local workforce.

The centre at Chadstone’s Holmesglen Institute will train about 5000 students annually, and includes a replica mined tunnel and rail tunnel with a full-height entrance, three multi-purpose engineering workrooms. Virtual reality training programs and concrete lining spray simulators also form part of the facility.

There is also a purpose built 20 seat refuge chamber allowing for onsite training in the event of an emergency situation.

The tunnelling centre will be key in building Victoria’s workforce and have skilled workers working on the State Government’s major pipeline of works including North East Link, Suburban Rail Loop, Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and Airport Rail Link.

A new body, Apprenticeships Victoria, is being established to promote and connect apprentices and trainees with training organisations and employers.

Apprenticeships and traineeships will be created on the North East Link and other major projects.

Those studying at the tunnelling centre, which was partly modelled on the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy established as part of London’s Crossrail, can earn Certificate and Diploma qualifications as well as safety-based training for working underground.

The Victorian Tunnelling Centre (VTC) is co-funded by North East Link, Rail Projects Victoria and West Gate Tunnel and is run by Holmesglen Institute.

For more information about the VTC please call 1300 639 111 or visit the Victorian Tunnelling Centre website.