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In an industry/school first for the Northwest, eight Hellyer College students will work with the input of local manufacturers to convert four petrol-driven vehicles to battery electric vehicles (BEV) thereby eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

Alpha Electrics and Water secured funding from the Tasmania Industry Training Hub-Burnie and will partner with Elphinstone Manufacturing, WEG International, Jayben and Grange Resources to show the different stages of this project so the students can put it into practice at TMEC’s South Burnie facility.

At the same time the vocational education students are designing and assembling the equipment to convert the vehicles, they will gain invaluable insights into the career pathways which exist in the advanced manufacturing sector and thereby strengthen the pathway from school to employment with VET qualifications.

This project will connect key elements for the future of battery electric vehicles and advanced manufacturing showcasing Vocational Education and Training pathways in the broader Burnie region.

Aiding and contextualising the learning outcome, VET students in year 11 and 12 will work alongside experts in their field – be it manufacturing, electro, augmentation or engineering provides a multipronged outcome.

Damian Peirce, Career Facilitator at the Industry Training Hub said ‘By engaging with industry to gain real clarity around future skills needs in VET pathways and then building a product that will both inspire and inform students in our local region lies at the heart of this project. The input and support from all stakeholders involved has realised such an innovative project for our local secondary students here in NW Tasmania.’

Kent Wyllie, Managing Director, Alpha Electrics and Water said, “This is a partnership for learning in areas of high demand skills that lead to roles requiring expertise, valued by the industries involved both locally but also globally.”

Kent went on to say, “It brings industry closer to schools, in fact it embeds industry in schools as well as ensuring strong connections between the two stakeholders”.

Shane Cleaver, Principal, Hellyer College said” It is exciting to be working with a number of industry partners on the AEV Concept 1 project. Our students will benefit from this real-world learning opportunity as they work alongside industry professionals in the design, development, and production processes. We are grateful for the provision of this project and the fantastic opportunities and experiences it provides to our students.”

Ray Mostogl, CEO, Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council (TMEC) said, “This addresses the saying, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’. What better way to show how students can go from learning to doing and because of their efforts, the world takes another step to decarbonise.”

Ray went on to say, “This collaborative project highlights the importance of industry and schools working together to enable innovation and a rewarding vocational career where your actions make a difference to our world”.