TAFE providors named in ag course turnaround

02 Sep, 2005 10:45 PM
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NEW PROVIDERS for University of Melbourne's agriculture TAFE courses have been announced, although confusion still continues.

It appears that Dookie campus and Horsham's Longrenong campus contact hours will continue in the same facilities, as will most of McMillan's, at Leongatha and Warragul.

However, there is a possibility dairy courses at McMillan could be shifted and those at Glenormiston, merged with South West TAFE.

State Minister for Education Lynne Kosky announced the preferred providers on Tuesday, and said each had strong ties with their communities and agricultural industries.

Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE and Dairy Australia will jointly deliver contact hours at Dookie for all Melbourne University's programs, as well as taking over dairy courses in Gippsland and the Western District.

The two groups will also deliver training hours for dairy food technology and processing at Werribee.

Education Centre Gippsland (ECG) and the McMillan Gippsland Advisory committee will take over other courses at McMillan.

McMillan head of campus Sylvia Vagg had mixed feelings about the decision. She said while the ECG decision was a victory for community-based delivery, she was hesitant about the future of McMillan's dairy courses.

Although dairy training hours will remain in Gippsland it is unclear whether this will be at the existing site. Ms Vagg is also disappointed control of the dairy courses would not be in Gippsland.

Despite this, she could see the positives of a united dairy training strategy.

Goulburn Ovens TAFE chief executive officer Peter Ryan said his organisation and Dairy Australia had agreed to continue delivering training hours in the respective regions of the dairy courses.

But he said details were still to be established, and staffing changes would occur.

Although the total number of staff needed to deliver the programs would not change, there would be different staff. Some positions would be re-advertised, although existing staff could apply.

The University of Melbourne had offered some staff redundancies, saying University staff were paid more than those in the TAFE sector and so would be disadvantaged by the transfer.

The future of the dairy courses at Glenormiston was unclear, because South West TAFE was also offering a similar course, Mr Ryan said.

"Maybe there needs so to be a rationalisation of delivery." This could mean bringing the two courses together, he said.

Mr Ryan said the plans for the dairy courses would be much more specific by the end of September, allowing students time to make important course decisions.

"We don't depend on VTAC for courses, so we can take people in right until the course starts."

At Longrenong, the decision for WorkCo to take over training delivery was welcomed by head of campus Gavin Drew.

And despite Ms Kosky's comments on radio on Wednesday morning, WorkCo manager John Acland was confident classes will continue to be held in the existing facilities.

He said negotiations with Melbourne University for use of the facilities were continuing, but he did not expect it to be a problem.

Workco is a registered training organisation who supplies group training, as well a employment programs.

Mr Acland believes his business's experiences in training delivery will be valuable in its future delivery of training at Longrenong.

Victorian Farmers Federation president Simon Ramsay was cautious in responding to the announcement at this stage, before more information about the tenders becomes available.

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COMMENTS

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Nico on numerous occasions you bag on about following the money trail. Well perhaps you should
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We should pump as much CO2 out as we can - get sea levels rising as quick as possible - more
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Interesting that the mega Corporations like Coles, so vigorously fight for free and open markets