A NEW nursing simulation laboratory and vehicle stability training equipment are at the top of Wodonga TAFE's shopping list, after a major funding announcement from the Victorian government on Tuesday.
Skills and Training Minister Gayle Tierney announced a $6.3 million funding package for the Wodonga campus, as well as a further $600,000 for further teaching equipment.
Minister Tierney pledged to “make TAFE great again” when she announced the extra funds.
“This will mean that Wodonga will have a leg-up when it comes to providing skills and training for the local economy,” she said.
“It will mean we will have very highly skilled apprentices and trainees in the system, who will meet the demands of the local economy as well.”
The money comes as part of the Andrews government's election commitment in 2014.
Wodonga TAFE has received roughly $6 million in funding over the last two years from the Victorian government, including $2.5 million for the Back to Work program and $2 million from the TAFE Rescue Fund.
“Part of that commitment was to restore and rebuild TAFE,” Minister Tiernan said.
“This is another boost to TAFE – we want TAFE to work.
“We believe vocational training is transformational.
“It really makes a difference for a young person who is disengaged, or someone leaving school wanting a hands-on career.
“It's also an opportunity for older workers to re-train and workers who have been retrenched to re-train.
“It is a cornerstone we cannot forget.”
Wodonga TAFE CEO Mark Dixon said he was delighted with the announcement.
“This makes a massive difference to Wodonga TAFE,” he said.
“We were the large training provider of the year in Victoria last year, this year we've got the best student satisfaction ratio out of all the TAFEs in the state.
“In order to stay there it takes investment to make sure the training we deliver here is absolutely the best quality, and that it's accessible to everybody and affordable to everybody.
“We think we're doing a good job, but this sort of funding can create change, help us do things better and make the student experience the best it can be.”