An $800,000 Brumby Labor Government initiative is helping young students return to, or stay in, regional and rural areas to work in their chosen fields to help plug local skills gaps.
Regional, Rural Development and Skills and Workforce Participation Minister Jacinta Allan said the Rural Skills Cadetship Program had encouraged 163 young people from areas including Grampians, Buloke, Colac, Bendigo, Horsham, Shepparton, Geelong and Gippsland to return to work in these areas after completing their studies at TAFE or university.
“Since announcing this program in June last year, we’ve had 163 young people jump at the chance to become Rural Skills Cadets which proves they value the chance to take up opportunities in their home towns and use their skills locally,” Ms Allan said.
“The program helps secure the students’ lifestyles by allowing them to work in the same town as family or friends, rather than having to move to another location.”
Ms Allan said 71 cadets were accepted into the program in late 2008, and due to unprecedented demand the Government accepted a further 92 cadet applications in a second round.
“The Rural Skills Cadetship Program has been strongly supported by regional and rural employers keen to help local students stay connected to their home regions,” she said.
“While the students welcome the chance to work in their home towns, employers are filling ongoing, seasonal and short-term term positions with skilled, motivated workers.
“Students are also working in fields related to their studies, such as accounting, agriculture, business, education, engineering, food science, health and physical education.”
Ms Allan said cadets received financial support of up to $2500 per year, for a maximum of two years, towards their educational transport and living costs while studying.
“Additionally, employers are paid up to $1250 per year to honour their support of the program.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.