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Uni courses for workers in Arnhem Land

Residents in remote Arnhem Land will soon be able to study at university on home soil, to learn trade skills and boost their job readiness.

Industry says its a win for the local community and will help desperate Northern Territory businesses struggling to find workers.

Charles Darwin University is set to rollout trade training courses in Nhulunbuy, a service hub of about 3200 people on the Gove Peninsula.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest from local businesses and individuals in the upcoming courses,” Alice Doyle, Associate Vice-Chancellor for the region, said on Tuesday.

“We have also been speaking with the local community, schools and businesses about what their training needs are and have been working on specialised programs to support training for future employment and industry needs.”

The program will allow residents to remain with their families in the East Arnhem region, 1000km east of Darwin, while they study.

A range of short courses will be offered throughout the year, including forklift driving, working at heights and elevated work platform use.

The university will also offer a certificate courses in training and assessment, project management and work, health and safety.

The NT Chamber of Commerce says it is great for business and industry following welcome collaboration with the university.

“Being able to train workers in the local area reduces costs for businesses and out of office time,” Chief Operating Officer Nicole Walsh said.

“It is always a challenge for NT businesses given the ongoing labour force shortages.”

Ms Walsh said it will also bolster the region, which relies heavily on fly-in fly-out workers by bringing industry and the community closer.

“It is often difficult to attract workers to remote areas and this training will help businesses retain staff,” she said.

Nhulunbuy township is the sixth largest population centre in the NT.

The East Arnhem region, which covers around 33,000 sq/km, has an estimated population of 15,000 people, of which about 70 per cent are Indigenous.

The main industry is mining, with significant bauxite and manganese operations.

Tourism, construction, health care and land management are also significant employers.

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