Uni-TAFE mix key to finding job

Nick Wakeling, and Wodonga TAFE chief Michael O’Loughlin at the Barnawartha North Motorsports Training Centre. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

Nick Wakeling, and Wodonga TAFE chief Michael O’Loughlin at the Barnawartha North Motorsports Training Centre. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

A WODONGA TAFE initiative could improve students’ hopes of a job.

The college’s chief executive Michael O’Loughlin yesterday asked Victorian Higher Education and Skills Minister Nick Wakeling to endorse a partnership between TAFE and La Trobe University that would allow diplomas to be developed into degrees, creating graduates with better job hopes.

Mr O’Loughlin said he hoped the plan would reduce the number of people with HECS debts who had failed to complete their qualification.

“For those who drop out of uni, this partnership will provide multiple entries and multiple exits,” he said.

“If students decide to leave after the first year, they will have a diploma, after second year they will have an associate degree and after the third year, they will have a degree.”

Mr O’Loughlin said the program gave students more pathways to higher education qualifications and vocational training.

“It makes them more employable,” he said.

While Mr Wakeling inspected Wodonga TAFE’s Motorsport Training Centre, he said the proposal tailored education to meet the needs of employers.

“What you don’t want to be doing is just train people for training’s sake,” he said.

“We want people to have a positive experience that leads to a job, encourages further study and improves educational and employment opportunities.”

Mr Wakeling said more partnerships between tertiary education providers and industry would attract students and boost the region.

His visit to the Border was his first since he became a minister in March.

The member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, said Mr Wakeling’s visit to the city’s education hubs would encourage students.

He was confident there would be “positive changes” in the region as a result of the visit.

Mr Wakeling also visited La Trobe University and Wodonga Senior Secondary College’s Trade Training Centre.

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