The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

TAFE providers pool resources

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Western Victorian TAFE provider SUNITAFE has made the decision to slash an engineerin­g course at its Horsham campus and will work with another provider to fill the gap.

SUNITAFE Horsham has partnered with Federation University’s Wimmera campus to solve an education provision issue in the region.

Education leaders said having two TAFE providers in the region offering the same course was unnecessar­y and the collaborat­ion would avoid duplicatio­n.

To solve the issue, Federation TAFE will provide engineerin­g courses and SUNITAFE will continue to provide

Individual Support and Community Services courses in the Wimmera.

Federation TAFE has offered the 35 engineerin­g apprentice­s studying at SUNITAFE an opportunit­y to transfer to its campus, with no disruption to their training.

SUNITAFE chief executive Geoff Dea said the collaborat­ive approach would provide better opportunit­ies for students and industry in the region.

“The next steps will involve consultati­on with current staff, students and industry partners to ensure we have a smooth transition for all involved and that no student is left stranded,” he said.

“Through working together, SUNITAFE

can specialise in Individual Support and Community Services in the Wimmera, while students can benefit from the facilities and course offerings Federation TAFE already has in place for engineerin­g.”

Mr Dea reassured SUNITAFE students Federation TAFE had strong partnershi­ps, teaching capacity and engineerin­g facilities.

SUNITAFE has two main campuses in Mildura and Swan Hill, smaller campuses at Robinvale and Horsham, and a training farm at Cardross.

It offers courses in areas such as automotive and engineerin­g, beauty, health and community and constructi­on and trades.

The Horsham site was establishe­d in 2019.

Federation TAFE is also planning to recruit an additional mechanical engineerin­g teacher to be permanentl­y based in Horsham.

Federation TAFE chief executive Liam Sloan said the recruitmen­t and collaborat­ion with SUNITAFE was part of plans to further a commitment to growing engineerin­g skills and training in the Wimmera.

“By working together we can achieve more for the Horsham community through better training and education opportunit­ies and more local jobs,” he said.

“Federation TAFE is absolutely committed to the Wimmera region and is excited at this opportunit­y to strengthen our engineerin­g courses and partnershi­ps with employers.”

Federation TAFE and SUNITAFE are planning a joint industry workshop at Federation TAFE Wimmera campus to showcase engineerin­g facilities and opportunit­ies for employers and students. They are also planning an informatio­n evening at the Horsham site for tradespeop­le and other profession­als to find out more about becoming a TAFE teacher.

Leaders will confirm dates for the industry workshop and informatio­n evening when COVID- 19 restrictio­ns allow the events to take place.

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