MS TIERNEY (Minister for Training and Skills) — I rise to update the house on the Andrews government’s Stronger TAFE Fund program, for which I announced a total of $24.3 million in funding over three years at regional TAFEs last week. On Tuesday I had the pleasure of joining the member for Bendigo West in the other place, Maree Edwards, at Bendigo Kangan Institute to announce $12 million of Stronger TAFE funding. Whilst at the campus I also announced $1.7 million from the Andrews Labor government’s TAFE Rescue Fund to kickstart the development of a detailed feasibility study and masterplan for the revitalisation of the Bendigo city campus.
On Wednesday I joined my colleague in this house, a member for Northern Victoria Region, Jaclyn Symes, at GOTAFE in Shepparton to announce $6.9 million of Stronger TAFE funding. This funding will help GOTAFE’s campuses in Wangaratta, Benalla and Seymour. I also had the opportunity to tour GOTAFE’s Skills and Jobs Centre, one of 30 across Victoria. The centre has been involved in GOTAFE’s youth unemployment program, a fantastic program set up to tackle high youth unemployment in Hume.
Finally, I also announced $5.4 million for Wodonga TAFE as part of the Stronger TAFE Fund. Unlike the coalition, which cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the training sector and ignored regional Victoria and industry needs, we are working to make industry-relevant training accessible to every Victorian. This funding will ensure that Victorian TAFEs have the resources needed to address industry skill gaps, deliver new innovative training and help grow enrolments across the state. It will allow TAFEs to focus on what they really do best, and that is training students.