Launch of $34 million Regional Skills Fund

I’ve always found it incredibly frustrating
in my travels across regional Victoria to meet with industry leaders, small businesses,
medium and large, and hear about their frustrations about attracting a skilled workforce. So we’re
pretty excited to be today launching this new Industry Tertiary Partnership Grant Program,
the Regional Skills Fund. Of $34 million, it’s about innovative and locally-based initiatives that will help overcome that gap between what industry needs and what our school leavers
are also looking for. And at its heart, it’s about strengthening our regional communities
which is about strengthening the entire state. It’s my enormous pleasure to officially
declare the Regional Skills Fund open for business It’s important because we need to ensure that we’re training people that are suitable for the industries in the region and elsewhere, and make sure that we provide businesses with the right tools It’s going to be young people in the region, and workers who are changing careers, and looking at where industries are growing and changing within the region, and where they need new skills. The days of training 1,000 people for one job… they’re over. We won’t get it perfectly,
but what we will do is we will lift our training system to the needs of industry and communities,
so that those communities, those industries, our Victorian economy, our local regional
economies get the skills that they need. I think the real benefit will be to the students,
because if you can link the industry directly into programs, then the outcomes for the students
are they’ve already got the relationship with the businesses. So I think that’s the
long-term way that you get students to benefit from their higher education.

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