Increased levels in labour market participation, and a workforce with skills that align with the needs of business, is critical to Victoria’s Second City as it continues its transformation.

The jobs of the future will require highly trained people who have transferable skills and technical knowledge to innovate and increase the competitiveness of local enterprises.

The Committee for Geelong’s recently launched Proposed Second City Policy Framework identifies the need for a world-class education system that connects everyone in our city-region to employment opportunities. Such an education system could increase opportunities for individuals and better meet future workforce needs.

The Gordon TAFE’s reputation as one of Australia’s best training institutions is well recognised. In 2017, The Gordon’s commitment to excellence was highlighted at a state and national level when the organisation won both Victorian and Australian Large Training Provider of the Year awards. Their recently opened Geelong Tech School and newly developed Centre of Design Excellence will also play an important role in Geelong’s transformation to a clever and creative international city of design.

The Gordon and the new Geelong Tech School will be key to building a highly skilled and knowledge rich workforce, and, more importantly, to opening up employment opportunities to those currently outside the labour market, through relevant vocational training.

As Victoria’s Second City, Geelong boasts a diverse local economy, but not everyone has been able to take advantage of our city-region’s success. In the future, bringing everyone into the labour market will be even more important to meeting the demand for highly skilled and knowledgeable employees.

The Committee for Geelong believes education is pivotal to improving opportunities for those who are currently experiencing disadvantage, by creating a clear path to employment through developing skills relevant to local employers.

Ensuring everyone can participate in the labour market could result in future capacity constraints being addressed as our population ages and, it may also reduce issues that arise with social disparity.

The Committee for Geelong welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement that thirty priority courses and eighteen pre-apprenticeship Free TAFE courses will be available from the beginning of 2019.

These courses have been selected because they will prepare students for occupations in industries where employment opportunities are more likely.

By reducing financial barriers to attend TAFE, a range of high quality skills-based training at The Gordon will be available to more people in our city-region.

This will provide benefits to Geelong’s business community, who gain highly regarded skills and well trained, job ready employees.

The Geelong Tech School will engage young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) along with critical and creative thinking, skills and learnings highly relevant to the future needs of Geelong business.

The Committee’s Proposed Second City Policy Framework pinpoints improved pathways to STEM and technical education as important to increasing secondary school completion rates in Geelong.

Together with Newcomb Secondary College’s P-TECH program, the new Geelong Tech School will provide an improved pathway that will help young people to bridge the gap between school, training, and productive employment.

The Tech School’s curriculum will focus on industries identified as being important to future employment growth in our city-region, such as advanced manufacturing, creative industries, construction and building, smart mobility, and health and assistive technology.

A curriculum developed with local industry, and an ongoing connection with existing industries and workplaces, will reinforce to students the pathway of school work to future employment.

By bringing more people into the labour market through opening up vocational training, and creating a clear path from school to the workforce for young people, with The Gordon, its Design Centre of Excellence and the new Tech School being a vital part to Geelong’s future as a clever and creative international city of design.

Published via the Geelong Advertiser , 02/01/2019

Photo Credit: Geelong Tech School