Minister for Skills Jacinta Allan says 90 per cent of Victoria’s electricity and nearly all of the state’s natural gas is produced in Gippsland, the reason for the State Government’s skills investment in the region. “The Specialist Energy Training Network is one of three specialist networks to be funded as part of the 2006 skills and provincial statements,” says Allan. “It aims to bring together local vocation education providers to better meet the skills needs of the local energy industry,” she adds.
The Network, convened by Central Gippsland TAFE, is made up of Box Hill TAFE, the Chisholm, Holmesglen and Northern Melbourne Institutes of TAFE and the TAFE Divisions of RMIT and Swinburne University of Technology. “Through the Network, institutions are able to pool resources and encourage greater diversity and specialisation of skills,” says Allan.
The State Government has provided the Network with $1 million to come up with new ways to better address skills gaps in the power industry – including renewable energy ventures, according to Allan. The State Government’s Power Enterprise Graduates of Gippsland Program, a new induction program for graduate engineers about the power industry, was also launched by Allan.