Labor pledge $10 million for TAFE

RENEWABLE: From left, Bilson Electrical and Renewables owner Bilson Burns, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Climate Change spoksperson Mark Butler in Whyalla.
RENEWABLE: From left, Bilson Electrical and Renewables owner Bilson Burns, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Climate Change spoksperson Mark Butler in Whyalla.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten brought the federal election campaign to Whyalla's doorstep on Wednesday, promising a $10 million investment in the city's TAFE facility.

The plan has been spruiked as getting the region ready for new jobs in renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, aviation, defence, the steel industry and community services.

The announcement was in addition to Labor committing to declaring the Spencer Gulf a Renewable Energy Zone.

The promise to upgrade Whyalla TAFE is part of a $200 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund.

"If we can make sure people can get quality apprenticeship training in Whyalla then they don't have to go to Adelaide or the west coast or the east coast to get their skills," Mr Shorten said.

"That will provide a skilled workforce for future expansions in the steel industry and the mining industry."

Labor's TAFE plan also includes boosting the amount of places for South Australians with no up-front fees as well as more pre-apprenticeship places for young people in the state.

Mr Shorten made a commitment to guarantee at least two in three public vocational education dollars goes to TAFE.

Speaking on his commitment to make the Spencer Gulf a Renewable Energy Zone if elected, Mr Shorten said Whyalla could be a 'centre of renewable energy excellence' in South Australia.

"I think that we can deliver the great trifecta - lower prices, more new jobs and a better climate to hand on to the kids," he said.

Labor Climate Change Spokesperson Mark Butler said the purpose of designating the Spencer Gulf as a renewable zone was to provide investors with confidence that they will be supported by a Labor government putting more investment in the region.

"Independent modelling shows that declaring this a Renewable Energy Zone, and all the investment that would follow that, would lead to 1300 new jobs created in the Spencer Gulf region," he said.

After visiting the SSE solar farm in Whyalla Mr Shorten visited the Whyalla Steelworks to meet with local workers and GFG Alliance Chairman Sanjeev Gupta.