TAFE up­beat de­spite deficit

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - NATALEE KERR

THE Gor­don TAFE is con­fi­dent of fu­ture growth, de­spite a $7.3 mil­lion deficit in 2019.

A re­cent re­port tabled by the Vic­to­rian au­di­tor-gen­eral found eight TAFEs, in­clud­ing The Gor­don, posted losses in 2019, while four gen­er­ated a profit, com­pared with 11 in 2018.

The Gor­don op­er­ated at a $1.1 mil­lion sur­plus in 2018 be

Find more in­for­ma­tion at cam­p4­can­cer.org.au/geelong-camp-4-can­cer or the Cam­p4­Can­cer Geelong Face­book page. fore drop­ping to the $7.3 mil­lion deficit last year, its 2019 an­nual re­port shows.

Board chair­man Justin Gid­dings said de­spite the “ad­verse op­er­at­ing re­sponse”, the in­sti­tu­tion’s fu­ture looked pos­i­tive.

“The board and lead­er­ship team are fo­cused on fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity and have de­vel­oped growth strate­gies to im­prove per­for­mance,” he said in the an­nual re­port. “Our fi­nan­cial re­serves re­main strong and the board is con­fi­dent of fu­ture growth in the com­ing years.”

The au­di­tor’s re­port noted The Gor­don recorded a -10.7 per cent net re­sult mar­gin for 2019, putting it in the “high” risk cat­e­gory for fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity.

The fig­ures come af­ter the first year roll­out of the state gov­ern­ment’s $172 mil­lion free TAFE pro­gram.

The au­dit re­port said while free TAFE would help al­le­vi­ate long-term sus­tain­abil­ity risks, the sec­tor must con­tinue to in­crease other rev­enue streams.

The gov­ern­ment an­nounced this week an ex­ten­sion of free TAFE un­der a new $163 mil­lion pack­age.

It will cre­ate 10,000 ex­tra free TAFE places to help drive eco­nomic re­cov­ery from the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

“We’re re­ally ex­cited to be able to ex­pand our free course of­fer­ing, pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to re-skill in ar­eas that will serve the com­mu­nity strong­est as we col­lec­tively strate­gise a way for­ward, post COVID-19,” The Gor­don CEO Joe Or­meno said.

“Our cur­rent free TAFE cur­ricu­lum in­cludes a range of early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion and care, hos­pi­tal­ity, health and tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties among others, how­ever we are pleased to now be able to ex­pand our pro­grams.”

South Bar­won MP Dar­ren Cheese­man said free TAFE had been “life chang­ing” for the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“This sig­nif­i­cant an­nounce­ment will give more res­i­dents the op­por­tu­nity to study close to home and get a good lo­cal job,” Mr Cheese­man said.

Pic­ture: GLENN FER­GU­SON

Luke Black­ley and Am­ber Towart have gone the chop to raise money for the An­drew Love Can­cer Cen­tre.

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