$400k boost to Coast TAFE
HERVEY Bay TAFE can now provide more tertiary education and trade options in the region for year 12 students after graduation thanks to a cash injection from the state government.
Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman announced a $400,000 commitment during 2018-19 for the local campus to undergo upgrades and maintain facilities during a visit on Wednesday.
"TAFE Queensland facilities are vital to regional communities like Hervey Bay because they develop the skilled workforce the local economy needs and provide other opportunities for many people looking to gain the skills they need to get a job," Ms Fentiman said.
"We will see improvements to the students' interactive common area and an upgrade the car parks on campus due to be completed by mid-2019.
"I encourage the current year 12 cohort to consider the free TAFE courses that's on offer as they approach graduation in three weeks."
Eleven more free courses would be rolled out to meet the growing demand in Hervey Bay and Maryborough campuses as part of the Free TAFE for year 12 graduates initiative.
General manager for TAFE Queensland's East Coast Region Ana Roger said the boost would help the TAFE provide the mentality "there is something for everyone" in local tertiary education.
"We want to show students there is no need to leave the region to study," she said.
"We have everything from Federally funded programs like learning English as a second language to State funded programs like our nursing certificates which sets up students to work in the large quantities of nursing homes in the region.
"We also provide a starting point for people into tertiary education, if students haven't selected to go to uni they could look at completing a program here or trade or a diploma certificate because it is so important nowadays to have some sort of tertiary education."
Ms Roger continued to explain more courses would act as a draw card to the region.
"It is critical to have skilled tradesmen and women in our region to keep our community thriving," she said.
"We have mature age students who have actually moved here to complete their education and bring family with them."
First year electrical apprentice Tim Wyvill is one such student who works for HiTech Electrical in Gympie and is studying full time in Hervey Bay.
"The course offered here is great because I work in industrial in my job but here I get broader knowledge as well."
"You are never too old or too young to learn new things and go back to retrain."
The funding is part of the $770 million state government investment in the VET Investment Plan including a $20 million boost to the successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
Free TAFE is available for Year 12s in the calendar year after students graduate.