The Andrews Labor Government is listening and delivering for North East Victorians with funding announced today for a skills development project put forward as a priority by the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership.

In Benalla today, Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, joined Labor candidate for Euroa, Fionna Deppeler-Morton, to announce a $1.45 million grant from the Andrews Labor Governments Regional Skills Fund for the Ovens Murray Workforce Development project.

The project involves embedding industry-based learning into secondary schools to develop young people’s interest and skills in agriculture, horticulture and the health and social services sectors.

North East Local Learning and Employment Network and North East Tracks Local Learning and Employment Network have developed the project in consultation with industry sectors that have identified a lack of job-ready applicants.

The $2.96 million project will expand on a successful pilot delivered in Mansfield that led to an increase in the number of students pursuing careers in industry sectors they had been exposed to through the program in their school.

“This is a great project to be launching at my former school which develops the skills young people need to meet the local industry opportunities,” Ms Symes said.

“It will lead to more students seeking work in the sectors that need employees, and that will help keep the region strong and mean that local kids who don’t want to move away from home have more employment options.

“Skills and training are vital for our local communities and economies, and a skilled workforce is what’s needed to support jobs and keep our country communities strong.”

Ms Deppeler Morton said the project helps to address one of the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership’s education and skills priorities to improve access to lifelong learning and create innovative learning pathways that support skills development.

“We know how important creating pathways for employment are for country students and this project in a fantastic opportunity for employers, schools, young people and their families across the Euroa electorate.”

Under the project, 26 schools in the Ovens Murray region will add new segments to the curriculum that connect students to local employers and training providers with the aim of creating job ready employees for industry.