Local TAFE students will soon have access to even more cutting edge training thanks to three different Andrews Labor Government grant programs that will provide over $3.5 million boost to SuniTAFE.

At SuniTAFE’s Mildura Campus today, Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp announced a $2.2 million funding boost under Labor’s Regional Specialist Training Fund, for eight key courses that respond effectively to skills needs in the region.

The courses are in areas which are particularly important to the community and economy such as health administration, disability, and individual support, nursery and horticulture production, auto electrical, food processing and eletrotechnology.

Mr Gepp also announced a further $1.28 million under Labor’s Workplace Training Innovation Fund respond to the significant workforce challenges in the Mallee agriculture and horticulture sector, requiring an expansion of the local workforce, increased capabilities, resource re-use, STEM and entrepreneurship skills.

The project will establish a Smart Farm concept with the development of a suite of 22 capability development programs and initiatives.

It will facilitate a new approach and capability in the training sector to be responsive to and at the forefront of change is the sector, upskilling trainers and assessors; students and industry to capitalise on the emergent technologies available in agriculture and horticulture.

And finally, Mr Gepp also announced $600,000 funding to SuniTAFE to deliver the Skills First Reconnect program to help create pathways to accredited training for high needs learners living in the Ganawarra, Mildura and Swan Hill municipalities.

The Reconnect Program targets early school leavers and the long-term unemployed by providing a range of services aimed at building participants’ resilience and workplace skills to prepare them for formal training and employment.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 is also investing an additional $644 million to strengthen TAFE, address skills shortages and ensure all Victorians can access the training they need to get a good job.

To make it easier to access training, the Government is investing $172 million to make 30 priority TAFE courses and 20 pre-apprenticeship courses that lead to jobs that are most in demand from Victorian employers tuition free.

“The Andrews Labor Government is proud to be investing in these projects which will play a key role in helping Mildura’s next generation of workers develop the skills they need to secure real jobs and build successful careers.” Mr Gepp said