Chinese telecommunication equipment manufacturers Huawei has announced a huge investment in building a new National Training and Development Centre in Sydney.
The multinational has a chequered past with the federal government after it was banned from providing equipment for the national broadband network on information security grounds; however, this new deal could go some way to repairing its public image.
The company will do this through a $30 million package to build an entirely new technology training facility – a move that is expected to bring an influx of trainer recruitment. In total, Huawei says around 2,000 people will be trained each year in the latest technologies – including approximately 100 Australian ICT university students and 50 in vocational education training (VET) courses.
Within a couple of years, the number of people trained in the Huawei centre is reported to rise to between 5,000 and 6,000 per annum, providing long-term employment opportunities for those in the NSW capital.
Due to open in August, the facility will also house Chinese Huawei employees, who will be sent to Australian shores to receive staff training, further reinforcing the need for experienced trainers in Sydney.
Huawei Australia's chairman, John Lord, said the facility will feature innovative training resources, enabling students to learn about the latest and greatest tech developments.
"State-of-the-art technology will be used within the centre's labs to test new applications and innovations and undertake R&D locally," he explained, before adding that the plan could be part of a wider commitment from the multinational.
"The $30 million investment and today's undertaking to fund free training for Australia's best and brightest ICT students demonstrated Huawei's commitment to Australia's ICT future."
Strengthening overseas partnerships
Visiting the construction site of the new development on 23 July, Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham through his support behind the plans.
"As a global leader in cutting-edge technology, this investment by Huawei in Australia shows a real and tangible commitment to upskilling our future and current workforce," he began.
"This new training facility is a strong example of how we are strengthening the Australia-China skills relationship."
This last point could be one that drives further growth in the training industry. Since the free-trade agreement between China and Australia was signed late last year, there's an expectation that there could be a greater need for quality trainers both at home and overseas.
With the door to the largest economy in the world creeping open, the industry waits to see if there will be more opportunities in the near future.
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