BENDIGO Tafe’s new $7 million food and fibre training centre has opened and the institution is confident industry has embraced changes it has made to facilities and curriculum.
More than a year ago, the vet nursing course suffered a shortage of placements for undergraduates.
Bendigo Tafe had just started offering the course but several students were unable to graduate on time without completing the placement.
Chief executive Trevor Schwenke said the vet nursing program was gaining momentum.
“When you get into rural areas and you want to keep local jobs for local people, you want to make sure you are training people for those jobs,” he said.
“In the initial stages it was challenging to bring the industry on board but this is their centre and what I kept saying to industry was, I am a custodian of this building, you need to come and tell us what it is you want and be part of that whole pathway from training to employment.
“They have really come on board.”
More than $1m of $7.8m channelled into the new centre was spent on adjusting curriculum.
The centre will provide training across subjects in agriculture, wool classing, animal care, plants and landscapes, environmental and land resource management and related applied sciences.
Food manufacturing is one of central Victoria’s biggest employers.
“There were a number of sectors identified when we came to government that we were keen in invest in, particularly the growth industries,” said Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards ,who with fellow MP Jacinta Allan, officially opened the centre.
“Food and fibre was just one of those because we know that agricultural produce and the growth of our wine regions are big growth areas.”