South West TAFE expanding to Colac

THE reach of South West TAFE is about to be extended with a planned expansion into Colac.

South West TAFE has taken over a site in Bromfield Street in Colac which it will open as a training facility from the start of the 2017 school year.

Courses to be offered at the site will include Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), aged care, tourism, travel, guiding and early childhood education.

Colac VCAL co-ordinator Janiece Butler said the new VCAL Pathways program to be offered in Colac would provide students with an alternative pathway to further education or employment.

“There is a need for alternatives in the area and South West TAFE’s Colac’s VCAL Pathways program will include student well-being support and hands-on learning,” Ms Butler said.

“It will provide students with a viable pathway to further and vocational education.” 

She said since the 2012 closure of Otway Community College there had been limited opportunities for vocational education in Colac.

Ms Butler said it was great for the community and for students who would no longer need to travel to study the courses on offer.

“Colac’s greatest employer is the health and community services sector so these new courses for Colac will be welcomed by the community,” she said.

South West TAFE CEO Mark Fidge said the idea for the new facility came about when they identified a gap in the Colac market when it came to training.

“With our experience in the south-west we determined we were able to assist with meeting the current and future training needs in Colac,” Mr Fidge said.

He said training provided in Colac would be based on feedback from the community.

Education and teaching support executive manager Madelyn Lettieri said staff were looking forward to working with employers. 

Course information sessions will be held at the Colac Library on December 6 at 12.30pm and 5.30pm and February 7 at 12.30pm and 5.30pm.