CCG closes Sale campus

CITING cuts in state government funding to the vocational education and training sector, Community College Gippsland will finish delivering courses at its Sale campus from July 1.

The decision by CCG to cease operating from Sale has posed Wellington Shire Council a dilemma regarding the future of the historic high school site.

Council had been made aware of the tenuous nature of CCG’s presence in Sale at its April 15 meeting when Cr Darren McCubbin had presented a question on notice, pointing out CCG was formally created in May 2011 as a result of a merger between the Education Centre Gippsland and the Adult and Community Education Sale (ACES) to form a new super college to further the education and training of adults.

“This provides a valuable community education service through the historic old high school site in Raymond St, Sale which also provides meeting rooms for organisations such as the University of the Third Age and Bug Blitz,” he told council.

He posed the question that should CCG’s commitment change, what would be the implications to the ongoing lease of the old high school building.

At council’s May 6 meeting Cr McCubbin was informed that once a response had been obtained from CCG chief executive Paul Wilson a formal response would be provided to council at a later meeting.

Since then Mr Wilson has confirmed the cessation of courses in Sale.

He said only three courses were currently being delivered at the campus on Raymond St, which were also offered by Federation Training, previously Advance TAFE, in Sale.

“At present we have around 20 students enrolled in certificate programs in general education, community services, and work education,” he said.

“The majority of students will complete their courses at CCG by June 30.

“We have commenced discussions with Federation Training in Sale to enable students who need to continue their studies to do so at Federation Training and receive the same accredited qualification.”

CCG was formed in 2011 from the merger of Adult and Community Education Sale and the Warragul-based Education Centre Gippsland.

Mr Wilson said as a not-for-profit training provider it was critical CCG ran programs which were viable and met the needs of individuals and community.

“While CCG is in a sound financial position, like most other vocational education and training providers, CCG is under strain from severe state government funding cuts to student subsidies.

“Under such a challenging funding model, it is clear that CCG can no longer offer the courses it has from Sale to such a small number of students, particularly when those same courses are being offered by TAFE down the road.

“CCG’s aim is to ensure that students currently enrolled at CCG in Sale can transition smoothly to complete their study with Federation Training in Sale.”