The AU$16m (£9m) Victorian Tunnelling Centre (VTC) is being built at Holmesglen Institute’s Chadstone campus to train local workers in underground construction and tunnelling for projects including Melbourne's AU$11bn (£6bn) Metro Tunnel. It will include replica tunnels for b both mined and tunnel boring machine (TBM) methods, enabling workers to familiarise themselves with both. The TBM replica tunnel will be the exact diameter of the Metro Tunnel, while the mined replica tunnel will be the equivalent width of a three-lane freeway.
The centre is modelled on the Tunnelling & Underground Construction Academy established as part of London’s Crossrail and the Tunnel Training Academy in Kuala Lumpur.
Holmesglen Institute will offer both existing and new courses at the tunnelling centre, including certificate and diploma qualifications as well as safety-based training for working underground. By 2021, it is estimated up to 5,000 students will participate in training courses at the centre each year.
The VTC is expected to be fully operational and taking students during the first semester of 2020.