Breaking the learning bubble

FEDERATION Training has launched student service centre ‘Bubbles’ at its Gippsland campuses after receiving $2.5 million in State Government funding earlier this year.

The centres include campus libraries, study support, and career and course advice.

“The ‘Bubble’ starts with a student who is unsure of their future career, so we talk to them about the sorts of things that they like and then we try to match the skills with the courses that we offer,” FedTraining chief executive Wendy Wood said.

Ms Wood said the institution recorded a 25 per cent drop-out rate last year, with many people never intending to finish their course, which had fallen to six per cent.

At the Yallourn campus on Wednesday, Training and Skills Minister Steve Herbert said the ‘Bubbles’ were the result of part of $20 million fast-tracked from the State Government’s TAFE Rescue Fund.

The state budget delivered the remaining $300 million of the fund last week, including $50 million for the TAFE Back to Work Fund, which will support TAFEs like FedTraining to partner with local industries to deliver training and skills needed in the region.

Ms Wood said FedTraining’s ‘Back to Work’ application had been ambitious with a focus on ‘paddock to plate’, including the food, tourism, hospitality and retail industries in Gippsland.

She said there were also plans to partner with the local Aboriginal community at the former ForestTECH campus, to consider indigenous art offerings and employment.

“Hopefully we’ve managed to deliver the sort of things the minister wanted in getting employment stimulated in the region and helping bring campuses back up to speed,” Ms Wood said.

Mr Herbert said he would meet with AGL Energy Limited as part of connecting with industry groups, businesses and training providers across the state about their perception of the training system and how government could improve services.

“If we don’t have a training system that’s strongly linked with industry’s growth and productivity, then our entire economy is going to be in danger,” Mr Herbert said.