McMillan MP Russell Broadbent marked the start of the school year this week at Mary Mackillop College in Leongatha by confirming with principal Michael Delaney, left, up to $1 million in funding for a Trades Skills Centre at the college.
WELL it’s official, Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College will get the promised figure of “up to $1 million” to establish a Trades Skills Centre at its Leongatha campus.
It brings to $8 million-plus as the total that has been allocated to seven schools in the South Gippsland region; Mirboo North SC, Korumburra SC, Leongatha SC, South Gippsland Specialist School, Chairo Christian School, South Gippsland SC at Foster and Mary MacKillop to establish trade training facilities.
“This gives us the opportunity to resume planning with the other schools in the cluster for the best possible outcome from this funding,” Mary MacKillop Principal Michael Delaney said this week.
Federal Member for McMillan, Russell Broadbent, called in at the school personally yesterday to announce the allocation, producing a letter of confirmation from the Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Senator Scott Ryan.
“As confirmed in the Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, released by the Treasurer on December 17, 2013, the Australian Government has honoured its commitment to proceed with the $209 million offer for Round Five (Phase One) of its trade training centres program through which there will be 136 new centres established,” Senator Ryan said.
Mary MacKillop’s project is now officially on that list, Mr Broadbent said.
He said the Trades Skills Centre project would include the extension and refurbishment of existing facilities to include a construction workshop, an automotive workshop and an electrotechnology workshop, a hothouse and also the provision of equipment at Mary Mac.
“It will deliver qualifications in agriculture, automotive, construction, electrotechnology and horticulture to address skills shortages in agriculture and horticulture and in the trades of carpenter, electrician (general), motor mechanics (general) and plumber (general).”
Principal of the Mary MacKillop College, Michael Delaney, was delighted with the resolution of the issue, setting the college off on the right foot in 2014.
“It had been promised by the previous government and honoured by the new government that we would get the funding but we had to send in a response, answering questions about what the project involved.
“Fortunately our answers ticked all the boxes and it has now been formally approved.”
Mr Delaney said the plan was for each of the schools to complete the necessary extension and refurbishment work through the course of 2014 and for each school to accept enrolments in up to Certificate II courses in 2015.
“There will also be three centres of excellence established in automotive & light engines, building & construction and agriculture & horticulture.”
Leongatha Secondary will host the automotive/light engines specialty and Apprentice Group Australia the building/construction specialty at Korumburra while elements of the ag/hort higher certificate training will be shared.
“We hoped everything would be right but it’s still terrific to receive confirmation at the start of the school year,” Mr Delaney said.
Mary Mac gets back to school on Thursday (7s, 11s and 12s) and Friday (7-12) with an increase in expected enrolment, up by 30 or more to 570 or 580.