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$12m cash splash for seafarer training By Nicole MayNe The Australian Maritime College is set to train more seafarers than ever with a funding injection by the federal government of $12 million for vocational education and training. The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced the funding on a recent visit to the AMC, where she chatted with students about their aspirations for jobs in the maritime sector and said she is serious about ensuring a future for the Australian shipping industry. The funding allows the AMC to deliver more than 160,000 hours of specialised training to more than 500 maritime students a year, supporting a national approach to seafarer training as part of the federal government’s shipping policy reform. The funds will be delivered over four years, enabling the AMC to sustain ongoing training courses for VET students who come from all over Australia and to develop new, world-leading programs. Ms Gillard said the investment represents the latest in a number of initiatives aimed squarely at keeping Australian shipping strong. “It will help rebuild the Austral- ian shipping fleet and the skills base needed to keep the industry growing and prospering into the future,” she said. “Together, with our shipping reforms, funding for AMC will see the college train more seafarers than ever before, with more jobs available on Australian-flagged ships.” It was the Prime Minister’s second visit to the AMC in four years, her first being in 2009 when she attended in her capacity as Deputy PM and Minister for Education to open the newly-built cavitation research laboratory. She said this visit was “a terrific opportunity to witness ground- breaking research from experts in the field”, touring the facility in operation and viewing cutting-edge research work. Ms Gillard also took the helm at the ship simulator before meeting representatives from AMC, UTAS and the wider community. Both UTAS Vice-Chancellor Peter Rathje

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