Status quo for CCG students

THE hundreds of Community College Gippsland students based in the Latrobe Valley are safe for now from the State Government’s cuts to the vocational education and training sector.

However, CCG chief executive Paul Wilson noted this was subject to more government funding changes next year.

“We’re not cutting any courses or programs at all,” Mr Wilson said, adding the college had about 2500 students enrolled with different study loads.

“We have been affected (by the funding cuts) the same as TAFE, but for us, this was in our business and retail areas and fortunately that made up the minority of (our) VET (sector).

“We have economies of scale, a good portfolio mix and we’re continuing with reasonably strong student numbers; we also passed an external audit recently.

“It’s business as usual for us.”

Mr Wilson said while he could not give exact student numbers affected by the education sector cuts, he said it “doesn’t affect staff”.

“We have changed the way we deliver our courses; now it is a ‘blended delivery’ through online, distance and some face-to-face,” he said.

Mr Wilson also ruled out the college’s intentions to expand into Bairnsdale at this stage, following the shock closure of Bairnsdale-based Community College East Gippsland, which recently announced it had entered into voluntary administration, resulting in almost 40 staff being retrenched.

Despite the similar-sounding names, the two colleges are not connected.

Mr Wilson said CCG hoped to grow its courses in Morwell, where most of its community service programs are focused, and Traralgon, which is home to hair and beauty courses.

He said following CCEG’s admission into voluntary administration, just eight of CCG’s hairdressing students undergoing a course at CCEG’s Bairnsdale campus were affected, but the college was working with them to “provide transition pathways”.

“None of the other students were affected in any way at all,” he said.

“AdvanceTAFE is in talks with the administrator of transition pathways for the affected students.”