A COMMITMENT to provide more opportunities for education and training to fill local skill shortages has been signed off by Wellington Shire Council, Federation University and TAFE Gippsland.
Mayor Garry Stephens, Federation University vice-chancellor and president, Professor Duncan Bentley, and TAFE Gippsland chief operating officer Peter Quilligan signed a new memorandum of understanding in Sale last week.
The organisations have committed to work together to boost skills and education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities in Gippsland, as well as the region’s culture, liveability and wellbeing.
They will work together to facilitate meaningful links between industry and education to increase local job opportunities; increase the level of tertiary education and skills across Wellington Shire and enhance the pathways into employment for its residents; support and grow a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship; promote research and skills development with a key focus on health, education, new energy, food and fibre; and leverage partnerships to explore shared use of assets and infrastructure in support of enhancing access to education, improving liveability, promoting cultural activities increasing community wellbeing, and creating stronger links to industry and jobs.
The memorandum is part of the university’s focus on partnering with industry, government and community to drive economic growth and jobs in its campus regions, including Gippsland, Ballarat, Berwick, Brisbane and the Wimmera.
Cr Stephens said council was committed to advocating for and supporting the best educational outcomes for the community’s youth and adults, without them having to relocate out of the district.
“For the future growth of Wellington, we need to ensure our local industries are supported with adequately educated and trained staff,” he said.
“This memorandum of understanding is a commitment from all of us that we are all singing from the same song sheet and working together to achieve these outcomes.”
Professor Duncan Bentley said Federation University had a key role to play in transforming local economies and boosting local jobs through research, innovation and education.
“Food and fibre, health, and new energy are key growth areas for the Gippsland region,” he said.
“We are focused on partnering with industry and government to create skilled jobs in these areas and grow the local economy.”
TAFE Gippsland chief executive Grant Radford said TAFE’s investment in new vocational training facilities in Sale was further strengthened in this important collaboration with Federation University and Wellington Shire Council.
“Our new Port of Sale campus opening in early 2022, together with our recently-expanded Flexible Learning Centre in the Sale CBD, are major steps forward to broadening our course offerings to meet the growing demand for skills training in Wellington Shire,” he said.