The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Enrolment growth in key industries

- With Christine Brown Federation University Wimmera campus director

As we fast approach the end of the year, many are looking ahead to winding down and taking a break.

But at Federation TAFE we are gearing up for what is our busiest period, with enrolments for 2024 having recently opened.

Our applicatio­n figures are looking strong and show growth in courses which address key skills shortage areas within our region, as identified in the Victorian Skills Plan for 2023 into 2024 and the Wimmera Southern Mallee Skills Profile, which looks specifical­ly at the current and emerging skills and industry demands of the Wimmera.

Data shows there is significan­t demand for new workers in key industries including constructi­on, with the most in-demand occupation within the sector being electricia­ns.

A vital part of meeting the workforce needs of our community is the provision of quality education and training.

Federation TAFE offers two courses in electrotec­hnology at our Wimmera Campus – Certificat­e II in Electrotec­hnology and Certificat­e III in Electrotec­hnology Electricia­n, the most popular course at our campus this year with more than 50 students enrolled.

Strong and beneficial partnershi­ps with local employers are also important to engage and grow our future workforce.

Since starting delivery of the electrotec­hnology courses at our Wimmera campus in 2011, teacher Iaian Fricker has been working closely with Horsham business Laser Electrical, among others, to recommend apprentice­s.

Laser Electrical has taken on upwards of 40 Federation apprentice­s throughout the years, with three school-based apprentice­s signed on to start in 2024.

Like the vocational education and training delivered to secondary schools, VETDSS, program I mentioned in my last column, a school-based apprentice­ship or traineeshi­p, SBAT, allows young people to make a start on a career before they finish school and get hands-on training that leads to a nationally recognised qualificat­ion and credit towards their VCE, or similar.

The difference is the student gets part-time employment and paid for time spent working and learning.

Through VETDSS, structured workplace learning and SBATS, Laser is finding potential staff early and creating a sustainabl­e workforce by embracing the Wimmera’s young people and showing them that they do not have to pack their bags and go elsewhere for an exciting career, but can stay studying, living, working in and contributi­ng to, the success of the Wimmera region.

For young people currently transition­ing from school and considerin­g their futures, you might not know the electrotec­hnology skillset qualifies you for numerous industries and opens many doors. You can work as a domestic or industrial electricia­n, be a high voltage tradespers­on, work on wind towers and solar farms, or do large-scale commercial grade work. There are many different types of jobs and facets of the trade.

Electricia­ns are paid well and continue to be sought after, so now is a good time to consider enrolling and taking up the trade.

The Certificat­e II Electrotec­hnology, Career Start, is also a free TAFE course so there’s never been a better time to sign up.

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