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Victorian Tunnelling Centre

The Victorian Tunnelling Centre is located at Holmesglen Institute’s Drummond Street campus in Chadstone, where it offers specialist training to workers in the construction and operation of a variety of tunnels including rail, road, and utilities tunnels. 

The new facility includes a replica mined tunnel and a replica rail/Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) tunnel similar to the Metro Tunnel, with a full-height entrance, two multi-purpose engineering workrooms and training facilities including tunnel shaft and concrete lining spray simulators, as well as augmented and virtual reality experiences. A cutterhead, a refuge chamber and the only four-motion bridge and gantry crane located in a TAFE also form part of the facility. 

The Australian-first tunnelling training centre is training thousands of workers as part of the Victorian Government's rail projects. 

 

Expressions of interest are now open to employers. Register to find out about the training programs offered to employers.
Register here


Frequently asked questions

For more information, contact us on 1300 639 111 or email VTC@holmesglen.edu.au
The Victorian Tunnelling Centre (VTC) provides training to people working on Victorian infrastructure projects, such as the Metro Tunnel Project. The VTC trains and upskills local workers in Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) operation and the construction and operation of tunnels. 

Existing Civil Construction, industrial skills, High Risk Work (HRW) training, and Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) training continues to be delivered at the Drummond Street campus and in the VTC. 
The VTC includes a full-height replica mined tunnel (three lanes wide) and a full-height replica Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) similar to the Metro Tunnel - all above ground. It also provides two multi-purpose engineering workrooms and training facilities including tunnel shaft and concrete lining spray simulators, as well as virtual reality experiences. The VTC contains a full working refuge chamber and the only four-motion bridge and gantry crane located in a TAFE.

The cutterhead
Just arrived, the star of the Victorian Tunnelling Centre is a brand new Tunnel Boring Machine cutterhead made by Herrenknecht in Germany – a prominent and impressive addition to the facility. Weighing in at 80 tonnes, the cutterhead is the front and the heaviest component of a TBM and cuts through rocks to create rail and road tunnels.

Visible from the Monash Freeway, the cutterhead stands 7.2 metres tall and is identical to those used for the Metro Tunnel under Melbourne’s CBD. 

The cutterhead will be used to train the next generation of tunnel construction workers, primarily to prepare workers and trainees for tunnel works in servicing techniques such as removal and replacement of disc cutters and cutting knives, and excavation chamber access and monitoring. Together with our full-sized rail tunnel and Augmented Reality (AR) training, this will be one of the leading tunnelling training experiences in the world.
Construction of the VTC began in September 2019 and is now complete, with all major internal equipment installed. The VTC is modelled on London’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA)– established as part of London’s Crossrail Project – where more than 15,000 contractors and apprentices have trained. 

Leading the development of the Victorian Tunnelling Centre  
The project is funded by the State Government through Rail Projects Victoria (RPV). The cost has been shared across the Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and North East Link projects, which will all use the centre to support their tunnelling operations.

A passionate group of tunnelling stakeholders form the VTC Industry Advisory Group, meet quarterly to guide the ongoing development and utility of the VTC.
A large project like this required the expertise of many organisations and many people. The Metro Tunnel Project’s Tunnels and Stations contractor CYP Design & Construction (a joint venture comprising John Holland, Lendlease and Bouygues Construction) had oversight of the design and build of the facility, with Holmesglen managing the on-site construction and day-to-day operation. 
The VTC build is now complete and is open to organisations and their workers. However, the uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19 may limit the number of students who can train in the various sections of the centre at any one time. 
Training for workers on Victoria’s ‘Big Build’ projects is still being delivered at the Drummond Street campus and includes civil construction apprenticeships, upskilling opportunities, high risk work licensing, tunnel safety inductions and virtual and augmented tunnel safety training. This training has been provided to enable the project to continue to operate whilst ensuring that the work health and safety on these projects is maintained.
 
Training is aimed at all levels, from new entrants, existing workforce, engineers through to managers. The apprentices, trainees and cadets attending the VTC are the future workforce for infrastructure projects and come from across Victoria and Australia to be trained in the construction and operation of tunnels.
The Victorian Tunnelling Centre for industry
In addition to the existing training and courses on offer, the VTC is available for hire to organisations keen to organise their own training. It is the perfect place to upskill and train employees in a realistic, safe and controlled environment. 

The VTC and rooms at our Drummond Street campus are available to be used for conferences and team meetings. For more information, contact us on 1300 639 111 or email VTC@holmesglen.edu.au

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the development of programs that will be offered to members of the general public. We have been limited to only offering programs for safety to essential services workers in the construction industry, including major infrastructure projects. This means, if you wish to do one of the specialised tunnelling courses, you have to become an apprentice or already working in industry before you can start your training at Holmesglen. Your employer can enrol you in one of our courses as part of your training.
 
Most of the workers on infrastructure programs hold qualifications in another trade or profession and are required to undertake specialist training in the skills and knowledge required to work underground. This can be on an infrastructure or underground mining project.
 
If you don’t have an employer but you want to work in infrastructure above or underground, employers are currently looking for a wide range of skilled people such as tradespeople, high risk work (HRW) licensed workers to operate plant and machinery, traffic controllers and more.

To get skilled or advance your skills, Holmesglen has public courses available with training conducted at Drummond Street and the VTC. Those are a good starting point to find a job in construction, including tunnelling. Public courses include workplace safety training, industrial skills and High Risk Work (HRW) training.
 
As the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have been eased we will be able to offer a limited number of programs to enable people to pursue a career in the civil construction industry sector, including underground operations.

Construction industry skill sets – free courses
​For a limited time the Victorian Government is offering free, nationally accredited short courses to help the public learn a new skill, reskill or upskill. See all courses 

The Victorian Government’s Major Projects Skills Guarantee, ensures all Victoria's major publicly funded works employ local apprentices, trainees or engineering cadets for at least 10 per cent of the project's total labour hours. This ensures young Victorians benefit directly from the major infrastructure projects being undertaken in our state.
While the VTC has been established to provide training for the workforce required to deliver Victoria’s extensive program of civil infrastructure projects, we welcome interstate and overseas organisations seeking specialist tunnelling training in our world class facility. 
Holmesglen Institute, including our Drummond Street campus, remains open and is delivering training remotely where possible or with safe social distancing measures in place. The first priority for Holmesglen is the health and wellbeing of our community, including students, staff, industry partners, clients and visitors to our campuses. We continue to follow the advice of the Victorian Departments of Health and Human Services and Education and Training. Should the spread of COVID-19 impact upon the accessibility of the VTC and the availability of courses, we will make every effort to provide timely information via updates to all affected stakeholders.
Gallery

Tunnelling centre to train thousands of local workers

A new $16 million Victorian Tunnelling Training Centre will be built at Holmesglen’s Drummond Street campus.
Learn more

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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