Construction of Flinders Factory of the Future and Tonsley Technical College underway

Flinders Factory of the Future is being built in tandem with Tonsley Technical College and construction is officially underway, with concrete pouring and other key work taking place on site.

The work has been undertaken by Sarah Constructions at the Tonsley Innovation District, adjacent to Flinders at Tonsley.

Factory of the Future will be a world-class advanced manufacturing facility designed to bring together industry, education and researchers, developing sovereign capabilities in key sectors including defence and digital technologies.

Flinders’ Factory of the Future/ Tonsley Technical College development, is part of a collaboration between the Federal and State Governments, and private industry, to capitalise on the opportunities in the defence sector and to bolster capacity in the local manufacturing sector.

Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University Professor Colin Stirling speaking to media about the commencement of construction at Tonsley.

The building of Tonsley Technical College, that will partner with the nearby Australian Science and Mathematics School, will be completed by the middle of next year, with the start of construction delayed this year by the removal of hundreds of square meters of concrete unexpectedly discovered under the site.

Artists impression of the Tonsley Technical College.

The project to create state-of-the-art facilities will feature timber products sourced from the NeXTimber pine mass timber facility at Timberlink in the south-east to help reduce the carbon footprint of the construction work.

Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University Professor Colin Stirling, Minister for Education, Training and Skills Blair Boyer MP and Sarah Constructions CEO Adrian Esplin at the site.

Australian submarine company ASC is the employer partner of the Tonsley Technical College and will provide employment pathways for school students into defence industries. ASC has a skilled workforce of more than 1,900 employees and ongoing workforce demand.

This valuable employer partnership will also bolster the advanced manufacturing and engineering pathway being offered at the technical college, helping to ensure students are workplace ready when they complete their studies.

Two pivotal South Australian group training organisations – the Motor Trade Association (MTA) and the Master Builders Association (MBA) – have also joined forces with Tonsley Technical College to provide employment opportunities and apprenticeships with host employers across South Australia.

The technical college will focus on industry specialisations in the areas of defence, building and construction and sustainable technologies including advanced manufacturing and engineering, automotive and energy and building and construction.

Flinders University’s Factory of the Future is supported by grant funding from the Australian Government and $9 million funding from the South Australian government.

Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University Professor Colin Stirling says it’s exciting to see construction of the world-class Factory of the Future underway, placing South Australia at the cutting edge of industry-linked research and education.

“Embedding the Tonsley Technical College with Flinders’ Factory of the Future means students will be at the heart of an innovative tech ecosystem, seeing firsthand how their future careers can unfold.”

“Combining knowledge and experience is crucial for tackling today’s challenges. The Factory of the Future exemplifies this collaboration.”

Minister for Education, Training and Skills Blair Boyer says he is excited to see this project get underway in such a central, industry-focused location.

“Families and potential students will have the opportunity to visit the Tonsley Technical College and see the future opportunities with their own eyes.”

 “I know that everyone who has seen Findon Technical College has been impressed with the design, style and capability-building that is available for students, and I think there will be an even greater level of community enthusiasm about Tonsley, given our collaboration with Flinders University.”

“These technical colleges represent a new style of learning that connects our young people directly with employers and provides then with an exciting, hands-on pathway to their career future.”

Kylie Eggers, Principal at the Australian Science and Mathematics School says they are excited to be the partner school with this project and have already seen a keen level of interest across our their school community.

“I’m pleased to see the work get underway as this technical college will provide exciting options for a future generation of our students, and further our key relationship with Flinders University.”

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