A jobs and skills expo focused on new energy and designated specifically to the region’s youth was the precursor to the Gippsland New Energy Conference this year.

The New Energy Conference was held in Sale last week.

Hundreds of secondary school students from Sale, Yarram and Maffra through to Lakes Entrance were energised by the offerings at this year’s Gippy Youth – New Energy Summit, the second of its kind in as many years.

TAFE Gippsland Business Partner for New Energy and event organiser Shannon Egan said the summit was a great success.

“Last year was the inaugural conference and as part of that the organisers wanted a student event, which involved 25 students,” Shannon said.

“This year, we wanted a standalone event, so we started to hatch a plan around how many renewable energy proponents we could get in the one room and where it would be.

“Jaide Stevens from GELLEN did all the organising of the schools and I did all the organising of the stall holders. Ash Hall from Latrobe Valley Authority oversaw the works. We had a working group with people from Federation University, different shire councils and the likes all helping out, which has made today such a success.”

With more than 300 students doing the rounds of the Sale Memorial Hall, vendors were certainly kept busy talking all things new energy and about the plethora of job opportunities opening up in this emerging industry.

“All the stall holders are telling me how good the engagement has been with the students and how positive it’s been,” Mr Egan said.

“The students are just excited to see that there are actually people who care about the planet and that things are actually being done. It’s just been that positive energy that’s driven it along.”

The Gippsland Tech School also lead a break-out session on how they are advancing STEAM opportunities and new energy career insights with young people in outer Gippsland through the Mobile Tech School outreach facility.

“It’s such a great collaboration between the region’s industry, local business to get the word out about what we’re doing in Gippsland to change the way we work and how we think in the new energy space,” Mr Egan concluded.