A MARITIME training vessel in Geraldton is undergoing a $2 million upgrade.

Western Australia’s Batavia Coast Maritime Institute (part of Central Regional TAFE) uses the vessel, Master Class, to deliver maritime training.

The vessel supports training relating to fishing boat operations, boating services, marine engines, aquaculture, tourism, coastal conservation and land management.

Local boatbuilder Dongara Marine is to refurbish the ageing vessel under a tender awarded by the Western Australian government.

Master Class is now in drydock where it will receive new engines, gear boxes, hydraulic system, electrics, air-conditioning and navigational systems.

It is usually moored in Geraldton’s Fishing Boat Harbour.

Training minister Simone McGurk said the upgrade would boost opportunities for people in the Mid-West to train and work locally.

“The maritime industry is vital to Geraldton and the entire Batavia Coast, and this upgrade will directly support these employers by providing skilled workers with contemporary and industry relevant skills,” she said.

“The revamped floating classroom will deliver a first class training environment that will benefit the local maritime industry for many years to come.”

And Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton said Master Class is an integral tool for many of the college’s training courses and qualifications.

“I’ve seen firsthand how important it is for the students to have hands-on experience in an industry simulated environment,” Ms Dalton said.

“The training vessel ensures students are exposed to the most up to date and industry relevant equipment and real-life scenarios, so they are better prepared and work ready for future employment opportunities.

“It’s fantastic to see local boat builders Dongara Marine be awarded the tender – a win for training and economic development in the regions.”

The state government is funding the upgrades as part of its $215 million investment in TAFE capital works projects.

Master Class is expected to receive students on board again in May 2023.