A NSW Labor government would establish a "manufacturing centre of excellence" in the Hunter to help rebuild TAFE and boost trade skills and apprenticeships, creating hundreds of new jobs.
Labor leader Chris Minns will visit the Hunter on Monday to announce the plan, as campaigning heats up ahead of the March 25 poll.
The centre of excellence will train, retrain and upskill at least 300 apprentices and workers in "traditional and advanced manufacturing techniques and technologies" each year.
Labor will commit $43 million to upgrade three centres in the Hunter, Illawarra and Western Sydney for 1000 students a year.
Free courses to be offered include mechanical engineering and electrical fitting.
The aim is to boost domestic manufacturing and tackle the statewide skills crisis.
Mr Minns will announce that building the "next set of trains here will create 1000 good, long-term jobs during the design and build phase, and many more in maintenance for the life of the trains".
"I want to build trains, buses and ferries right here in the Hunter," he said.
Mr Minns said the Hunter had "missed out on skills and jobs" because of the Coalition government's "obsession with offshoring transport projects".
"Under Labor, we'll skill up our people, begin a pipeline of work and get NSW building things again."
Tim Crakanthorp, Newcastle MP and NSW Shadow Minister for TAFE and Skills, said "Labor will bring transport manufacturing back home". Workers would be needed to "get these projects rolling in NSW again."
"TAFE has a proud history and has trained generations of skilled workers, but has been decimated by this government," he said.
"Under Labor, TAFE will thrive and train the next generation so NSW can build great things right here, just like we used to."
Yasmin Catley, Swansea MP and Shadow Minister for the Hunter, said "we will bring jobs back to the Hunter".
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery added that Labor will ensure "young school leavers have the capability to become apprentices" to build "transport assets".
Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison said "we need to better support people who want to be part of the changing economy of the Hunter".
Mr Minns said NSW deserved a government that "backs Australian made and will buy Australian made".
Labor had already announced it will procure the "next set of trains to replace the ageing Tangara fleet in its first term".
It also announced a "target of 50 per cent minimum local content for future transport rolling stock contracts", while tenders will boost "local content, jobs creation, small business and ethical supply chains to 30 per cent". It has guaranteed "a minimum of 70 per cent of total skills funding goes to TAFE" and a "comprehensive review of the vocational education system".
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