A COMMUNITY services and health industry consultation in Horsham this week will help Federation University determine training needs and skills gaps in the Wimmera.
The forum on Thursday will also look at the state government’s Free TAFE program, due to start next year, and industry workforce development and recruitment needs now and into the future.
Federation University TAFE sales, marketing and engagement manager Bill Mundy said the consultation was an opportunity for community service and health workers to detail skills shortages in their sectors, and whether the Free TAFE initiative could help address them.
“The forum is about looking at the free courses available in terms of TAFE from 2019, and how we can support industries in addressing shortages they might have, either with these TAFE courses or other requirements,” he said.
“It's all about making sure we deliver the most relevant courses to the region.”
Mr Mundy said there were no set parameters in terms of consultation outcomes.
“As part of the conversation we would expect that the industries would tell us that particular qualifications would help them to address a skills shortage. That might result in us delivering 1 or 12 or whatever number of courses that come out of that discussion,” he said.
“We're not going to be limited in our view of the scope of delivery.”
Mr Mundy said the early years sector was one industry where the university saw a need for support.
“Certainly we're hearing through the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership group, and organisations like Wimmera Development Association, that the early childhood project the partnership is running has identified a need for early childhood workers in the region, to address the shortage that exists in childcare support,” he said.
“That's one area we believe there's a great opportunity to provide support.
“That might be through traineeships for example, so childcare providers can employ people in trainee form in their local community.
“We feel there’s an opportunity to support the region’s skill gaps through training in a variety of qualifications.”
Mr Mundy said the university ran industry consultations in various forms.
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