South West TAFE is preparing to grow its Hamilton base to meet growing demand in the region.
The TAFE will move to the RMIT Ballarat Road site from January, allowing it to expand its courses and create new pathways in the region.
Chief executive officer Mark Fidge said it was great news for Hamilton and beyond.
“This is one of our most significant strategic decisions in recent years and will strengthen our ability to meet the education and training needs of the region,” he said.
South West TAFE has been a tenant on the site for several years and Mr Fidge said transitioning all its operations to the 7.2 hectare property would give certainty to local education and training.
In addition to TAFE’s existing programs, it is expected that aged care and individual support courses and the popular Diploma of Nursing course will expand in 2017. TAFE will also seek partnerships with higher education providers to introduce degree training in nursing.
“The site has excellent, purpose-built accredited nurse training facilities and being on the property will allow us to continue to offer and expand this in-demand program,” Mr Fidge said.
South West TAFE’s existing Hammond Street site will be leased and all programs will be offered from Ballarat Road from the beginning of 2017. Some trade courses will be based at the Hamilton District Skills Centre.
The announcement comes as South West TAFE prepares for a visit from new Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney at its Colac site on Thursday to tour the site and meet with industry leaders.
South West TAFE deputy chief executive officer Madelyn Lettieri said this partnership with industry was vital and the organisation’s Industry Connect program ensured TAFE was providing relevant training.
Ms Lettieri said the delivery of VCAL, early childhood education, individual support and training and assessment was only the first stage.
“We will be working closely with industry and employers to consider future course offerings that meet the needs of Colac and surrounds,” she said.
A course information and enrolment session will be held in Colac on January 19 from 12.30pm to 6.30pm.