Bright future for TAFE: Hall

LOCAL TAFE institutes have a “bright future” ahead of them after the pain of the past 12 months, according to State Higher Education and Skills Minister Peter Hall.

Speaking to The Express after examining Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE’s technology-enabled learning centres at its Morwell campus, Mr Hall said the institutions were now looking at what their strengths were and how they could concentrate efforts on identifying local needs.

“They have a bright future; TAFEs are well-equipped, particularly with technology, to meet (students’) needs and grow their businesses into the future,” Mr Hall said.

Citing the example of GippsTAFE being the first institute to pilot, and “go live”, last week with a new student management system, Mr Hall said it showed the Gippsland region was innovative in its efforts.

“The new system will not only help students enrolling, but help staff of the institutes keep a record of its students,” he said.

“The system will eventually be networked across the nine TAFE institutes across Victoria.”

Meanwhile, he said the recently-released Victorian Training Market Quarterly Report Full Year 2012 showed 64 per cent of Gippsland’s training activity was delivered through TAFE institutes; 24 per cent through private institutes and 12 per cent by the adult community education sector.

The data showed vocational training in healthcare and social assistance, retail trade and construction sectors, which were the top three employing industries, accounted for 49 per cent of enrolments.

The healthcare and social assistance industry recorded the highest enrolment growth last year, while the biggest enrolment decline was recorded in arts and recreation services.

Mr Hall was in Morwell on Friday as part of his promise to visit each of the state’s TAFE institutes following an announcement last week the State Government had allocated the institutes $200 million over four years, including $100 million in infrastructure funding.

“Since Tuesday I have visited seven out of the eight regional TAFE institutes, to speak to them personally and get their reactions and responses and assist with queries they might have with the government responses to the TAFE Reform Panel (recommendations),” Mr Hall said.