THE Nationals Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships and Shadow Minister for Young Victorians, Steph Ryan, visited Leongatha last week to discuss issues for young people and challenges for local training providers.
Ms Ryan held a youth forum with senior students at Mary MacKillop College and visited Community College Gippsland and the South Gippsland-Bass Coast Local Learning and Employment Network.
Gippsland South MP Danny O’Brien said the visit was a good opportunity for South Gippsland to put its issues directly to the Shadow Minister.
“Steph Ryan is a committed and passionate advocate for young people and the training and skills sector and this visit gave her the opportunity to hear directly those issues that are affecting South Gippsland.
“We learnt a lot from the visit and I know Steph is taking away some good ideas and also evidence of problems encountered by the training sector under the current Labor Government.”
Ms Ryan said she was impressed by the calibre of young people and training opportunities in the region.
“Gippsland is a great part of our state and as a country member of Parliament I am acutely aware of the challenges that are often faced in regional areas by training providers.
“It was good to sit down with CCG and the local LLEN and talk through some of the issues they are currently facing.
“We need to do more to get young people trained for the jobs of the future and in particular to help get disengaged youth into the workforce and operating well in society.
“It was also good to talk to some local students about the issues they face and get their insight into the opportunities and challenges of living in a country town.”
At ECG, Ms Ryan and Mr O’Brien were given a glimpse of new training opportunities to build work skills for adults and young people.
A new Hair and Beauty Training School, expanded VCAL program, general education courses for adults and a new work skills program to grow food for the community are some of the programs on offer.
Community College Gippsland CEO Sue Geals said the visit was an opportunity to discuss CCG’s role as a not-for-profit training provider that is working to grow skills and opportunities for local people.
“It was a chance to meet Steph Ryan and brief her and Danny O’Brien on regional training issues.”
The pair toured the campus including the new CCG Hair and Beauty School – a first for South Gippsland offering accredited qualifications for people to start or advance their careers in hairdressing and beauty.
“Community Foodies is another new program we are delivering where people who want to build work skills are growing food for the community and learning a range of horticulture and farm skills.”
Ms Geals said engaging young people to build skills for work and life was another critical training area.
“We have established an independent secondary school called ECG College which is delivering an innovative VCAL program for young people aged 15 to 20 who are unable to stay in a mainstream school.”
Head of School, Jamie Robertson, said the students had engaged in projects including learning how to run activities, set up small businesses, undertake a renovation project and work-related skills.”
“The program has been most successful and is being expanded to accommodate more students at Leongatha in 2017.”
CCG also offers general education courses for adults to build skills to get back into work or further training.
Ms Geals said the campus in Howard Street has grown significantly in the past two years with a focus on including community groups to value-add to the learning precinct.
“We have the Leongatha Community Garden, Leongatha Men’s Shed and Yooralla based at the campus which provides a variety of activities and connections.
For more information on Community College Gippsland visit: www.ccg.asn.au or phone 5622 6000.
Youth and training on agenda for shadow minister visit