Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall today joined the Gippsland Tertiary Education Council (GTEC) to initiate stronger partnerships between local industry and training providers.
At an industry forum in Traralgon, Mr Hall said the region’s economic prosperity was dependent on aligning the training on offer and the skills that were needed.
"Students deserve to graduate with the most relevant training to help them find good jobs," Mr Hall said.
"And I know that the Gippsland business community expects the region’s training sector to develop the skills its workforce needs."
Three of Gippsland’s top five employing industries – health care and social assistance, construction and agriculture, and forestry and fishing – are among the most studied vocational training pathways.
One quarter of enrolments are in areas of skills shortages and Gippsland enrolments are increasingly in higher qualifications, such as Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas.
Mr Hall said while the signs were positive, the Government had listened to feedback from Gippsland employers highlighting the need for improved collaboration between tertiary education providers and industry.
"While there is good alignment between employment and training in the region, Gippsland’s industry is changing rapidly," Mr Hall said.
"That is why, when responding to the Gippsland Tertiary Education Plan last year, I formed the GTEC to create a better fit between education provision and the future needs of industry in the Gippsland region."
GTEC chair Dr Peter Veenker said council members had been drawn from Gippsland’s community and education sectors as well as from local industry.
"We will focus on ensuring tertiary education and training is informed by the priorities of the region’s industries and businesses," Dr Veenker said.
Dr Veenker also welcomed progress on the $5 million Technology Enabled Learning Centres (TELCs), which will provide flexible training options for Gippsland residents.
"The goal for these centres is to ensure that Gippsland students can study locally in high-tech study spaces instead of relocating to the city to access tertiary education," Dr Veenker said.
Eight sites will be ready this semester, with a further 13 to be rolled out over the year.
One of the first courses to be delivered via the TELCs will be the Diploma of Community Health, a qualification developed by GippsTAFE, Monash University and Chisholm and funded through the Government’s Regional Partnerships Facilitation Fund.
Media contact: Ashley Gardiner 0427 560 438