MINISTER for Training and Skills Steve Herbert says the success of the 100 jobs in 100 days program is an investment in the region’s young people and its future.
Mr Herbert visited Warrnambool Toyota on Wednesday to meet with staff and new apprentices and praised the joint effort of South West TAFE, WestVic Staffing Solutions, Brophy Family and Youth Services and local businesses.
The program has reached its target with 19 days to spare. Mr Herbert said an added bonus meant 90 employers had taken on an apprentice and if the experience was positive they would be more likely to take on more in the future.
The initiative is part of TAFE’s WORKREADY program which received $1.5 million from the State Government’s TAFE Back to Work Fund.
“Anything we, the Victorian Government, can do I think to help them is an investment not just in their future but an investment in the community,” Mr Herbert said.
“The great success of this program is TAFE’s have said what do we need to do and South West TAFE has said we need to engage more with their community and with their businesses.
“South West TAFE did it pretty hard under those funding cuts a few years ago. They were hitting rock bottom, staff morale was low, confidence in the community in their training was low and what this says is it’s a new birth for them and new confidence in them.”
South West TAFE CEO Mark Fidge said the program had made a real difference to the region which the TAFE was proud to be a part of .
Mr Fidge said it needed to be an ongoing process whereby students and employers were thoroughly supported.
“That’s why we have Brophy and our support staff on board to make sure the retention of the students throughout the entire course is there,” he said.
“We’ve seen in the past where some students may have dropped out and it may well have been that the employers need the support and that’s there as well.
On Wednesday South West TAFE reconfirmed its commitment to the Hamilton region by taking on the lease of the RMIT Ballarat Road site.
The lease comes as the TAFE leads the development of a strategic plan to assess the region’s education needs.