TAFE budget boost welcomed in Gippsland

THE announcement of the $350 million TAFE Rescue Fund in the state budget had been welcomed by Gippsland education providers.

Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network chief executive Mick Murphy said it was a substantial package and would go a long way to regain TAFEs’ status in Victoria.

Mr Murphy said for a number of years the proportion of training from TAFEs had reduced significantly and was keen to see the detail of how funding might be applied for Gippsland.

Federation Training, which received a $2.5 million emergency lifeline under the fund, was among seven struggling TAFEs to receive the first $20 million.

The institution will now be able to apply for further funding.

“We don’t know how we might be able to improve Gippsland’s process at this stage with funding available for application and ideas to be put forward to government. It’s not just a cheque in the mail,” Mr Murphy said.

Local Learning and Employment Networks will receive $32 million to support vulnerable young people who have dropped out of school and can’t get work over the next four years.

Mr Murphy said the government had confirmed its previous commitment to keep LLENS going for a further four years, but it was still a reduction from a combined state and federal commitment of $13 million per year in 2014.

The Express was unable to make contact with Federation Training for comment.