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SM TAFE the best in the West for welding training

1 November 2023

South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) has been recognised at the recent 2023 Welding Excellence Awards, jointly winning the ‘Training and Education – Organisation’ award with BHP.

This is the second time SM TAFE has been acknowledged with the award by Weld Australia, the peak body representing the welding industry nationally.

SM TAFE Lecturer Darren Way was also recognised at the awards winning the ‘Training and Education – Individual Teacher’ award for the second year in a row for his outstanding delivery of welding teaching, along with his high-skill level and craftsmanship.

Through tailored welding and fabrication training, students and apprentices learn industry-relevant training in fully-equipped, purpose-built workshops where traditional trade is blended with new technologies.

The backbone of the program is a practical delivery approach providing hands-on experience. This is paired with expert lecturer guidance, ensuring SM TAFE sets the benchmark for quality and innovation in training.

The pre-apprenticeship and Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) qualifications have a high rate of conversion to employment, providing a strong pipeline for industry to choose from. The qualifications are also a pathway to employment opportunities in defence.

Darren is SM TAFE’s Principal Lecturer Mechanical and Fabrication and has been part of the team since 2019. He quickly progressed to become an Advanced Skills Lecturer, delivering the Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (Boilermaking/Welding). The course prepares trainees to be job-ready for roles such as metal fabricators, welders or boilermakers.

A boilermaker and fabricator for over 20 years, Darren brings extensive experience to his role, championing the mentoring of apprentices and trainees at SM TAFE. His passion for the industry is passed on to students through a highly engaging and supportive teaching style.

Darren has also been instrumental in the integration of “Industry 4.0” into welding training, helping students learn how to utilise technology and move into a modern space in the trade, whilst pioneering an online-blended delivery mode.

The joint award with BHP is significant. SM TAFE is proud to work closely with BHP to support their delivery of fabrication and boilermaking. Through the SM TAFE status of being a Registered Training Organisation for boilermaking, a lecturer spends one day a week onsite at BHP to monitor processes and training facilitation.

SM TAFE congratulates BHP on the award win and looks forward to continuing supporting the delivery of the in-house training program ‘BHP FutureFit Academy’, helping qualify and employ boilermakers and contributing to supporting important skill development for industry.