Two years on and the successful partnership between Grand Central and TAFE Queensland South West continues to help local students find fulfilling employment, with 233 students taking advantage of available training places under the program to date.
The practical, industry-relevant retail and hospitality training is available through the funding of up to 550 places in TAFE courses, giving locals an added competitive edge when applying for jobs.
Of the 233 enrolled students, 134 are now qualified, with many taking advantage of the 1,000 retail or hospitality jobs created at Grand Central through the $525 million redevelopment project completed in 2017.
Established during the Grand Central development for the influx of jobs the development would bring, it was designed as a long-term program that would engender a sense of collaboration with our community, and contributes to its future.
Brett Kinnane from TAFE Queensland said the partnership with Grand Central was delivering practical, industry-relevant retail and hospitality training in the region.
"The contribution from Grand Central towards training costs will allow many students to complete a qualification who might not otherwise have the opportunity," Mr Kinnane said.
"Gaining a qualification in retail or hospitality will help residents of the Toowoomba region gain an edge when applying for jobs, open up pathways for further study and provide exciting career opportunities."
Grand Central Centre Manager, Kathleen Hart, said the partnership was a way for the Centre to give back to the community that has supported it for so long.
"I am really pleased to see people taking advantage of the subsidised training. It's a great way to kick-start a career in retail or hospitality, or to further develop your skills in the sector," Ms Hart said.
"We're excited to be investing in people from our local community to enhance local employment opportunities - whether that is at Grand Central, or another retail or hospitality business in the region."
"As a major centre for local employment, Grand Central is committed to creating opportunities to enhance our city's ongoing evolution and growth."