$1.4m project announced

19 Sep 2018 Benalla Ensign, Benalla VIC (General News) Students across Benalla are set to benefit from a skills development project with a $1.4 million grant announced on Friday. State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes and Labour candidate for Euroa Fionna Deppeler-Morton made the announcement at Benalla P-12 Faithfull St Campus for the Ovens Murray Workplace Development Project as part of the Regional Skills Fund. The project aims to embed industry-based learning into secondary schools to develop young peoples interest and skills in agriculture, horticulture and the health and social services sectors. 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. Many country kids dont want to move away, they want to stay close to home and this is a great opportunity to find out what employment opportunities are in their future. Skills and training are vital for our local communities and economies, and a skilled workforce is whats needed to support jobs and keep our country communities strong. 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 in Mansfield that led to an increase in the number of students pursuing careers in the industry sectors they had been exposed to through the program in their school. Workforce development project manager Norm Madden said the project aimed to gradually build until 2021. If we can give the kids some experience, practical as well as a qualification, that can inform their career choices and even subject selection for their senior years at school, Mr Madden said. 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. Benallas P-12 College is on the list of schools involved in the program, with it to be introduced to Year 9 students.