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Young workers and Maryborough's legacy are set to benefit from the $7 billion Queensland government investment in train manufacturing ahead of the 2032 Olympics.
Local schools are adjusting curriculums as union workers prepare for a workforce revival following the state government's investment in building 65 new trains in the region's manufacturing heartland ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said Torbanlea, 25 kilometres north of Maryborough, would be the home of a $239 million purpose-built facility.
"The facility will then be producing the 65 trains and many more into the future," he said.
"Torbanlea is a historic mining area, so we wouldn't have seen this type of activity in the Burrum district — that's Howard and Torbanlea — since the 60s and 70s when the mine started shutting down."
Mayor George Seymour says Fraser Coast has been able to focus on developing future projects while COVID-19 has remained at bay. (ABC Wide Bay: Nicole Hegarty)The tenders for the project will be awarded in late 2022 and the winning company will rent the Torbanlea facility from the state government.
The state member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders, said the project's $7 billion price tag included money for wages and materials, with the government aiming to source local suppliers.
"We're buying the railway yards back in Rockhampton so there'll be parts made in Rockhampton that currently come from overseas," Mr Saunders said.
Want more local news? Sign up to ABC Wide Bay's weekly email newsletter.A bright future for a new generationMr Saunders said 25 per cent of the 800 jobs created will be apprenticeships.
"We need to train young people up to be boilermakers and fitters. We need tradies," he said.
The principal of Aldridge State High School, Ross Higgins, said the region had never seen an announcement of this scale.
"This is the most significant thing that's happened in Maryborough since I've been in the area," he said.
The school is expecting an increase in student enrolments as more people move to the area for employment.
Mr Higgins said local schools would provide school-based traineeships and apprenticeships, as well as vocational certificates to provide pathways to employment in the industry.
"It gives kids a real purpose to retain their engagement with school knowing what they're doing has a very direct link to employment," he said.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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