Blair Boyer MP
Minister for Education, Training and Skills

Construction of the Tonsley Technical College is underway, with concrete pouring and other key work taking place on site.

The work has been undertaken by Sarah Constructions at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct. The Technical College is one of two colleges in metropolitan Adelaide. Both Tonsley Technical College and The Heights Technical College are due to welcome students in 2026.

South Australia’s five new Technical Colleges are all now open for enrolments for 2025 and 2026, paving the way for students and their families to start planning their career pathways over the years ahead.

It comes as Flinders University’s Factory of the Future also reaches a milestone with the construction of the world-class advanced manufacturing facility underway to bring together industry, education and researchers and develop sovereign capabilities in key sectors including defence and digital technologies.

Flinders’ Factory of the Future, which will be built adjacent to the Tonsley Technical College, 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.

The State Government has committed $208 million to five technical colleges, which will see three opened in metropolitan Adelaide, one in Port Augusta and one in Mount Gambier, by 2026. Now that Findon Technical College is open, families can gain a first-hand look at what a modern technical college looks like.

Our technical colleges have some of South Australia’s most high-profile employers as partners, ensuring the students get the education they need to be fact-tracked into, secure, well-paid careers.

The building of Tonsley Technical College, which 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.

The project will feature timber products sourced from the NeXTimber pine mass timber facility at Timberlink in the southeast to help reduce the carbon footprint of the construction work.

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:

  • Advanced manufacturing and engineering
  • Automotive and energy
  • Building and construction

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

Quotes attributable to Blair Boyer

I’m 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 them with an exciting, hands-on pathway to their career future.

Quotes attributable to Vice Chancellor of Flinders University Professor Colin Stirling

It’s exciting to see the construction of our 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.

Quotes attributable to Adrian Esplin, Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Constructions

We are excited by the groundbreaking work happening at Tonsley.

Our team is utilising Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) slabs from Timberlink NeXTimber’s new facility in Mount Gambier, marking its first project in South Australia. Additionally, we’re incorporating Glued Laminated Timber (GLT) from Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) for key structural elements like columns, beams, and trusses.

Sarah has been involved from the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) and concept stage through to the commencement of construction, working closely with Flinders and DfE to realise South Australia’s first mass timber project. Progress on-site is impressive, with concrete structures nearing completion and timber deliveries expected next month.

Quote attributable to Australian Science and Mathematics School Kylie Eggers

On behalf of the Australian Science and Mathematics School, I can say we are excited to be the partner school with this project and have already seen a keen level of interest across our 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.


Published On: May 22nd, 2024