Boost for agricultural training colleges and providers

Victorian government announces Agricultural College Modernisation Program

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State to spend $50 million over four years, modernising ag colleges.

The Victorian government is to spend $50 million, over the next four years, to improve facilities and teaching at the state's agricultural colleges and training providers.

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COLLEGE FUNDING: Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has announced the government is setting up an Agricultural College Modernisation Program.

COLLEGE FUNDING: Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has announced the government is setting up an Agricultural College Modernisation Program.

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said next week's Victorian budget would set up the Agricultural College Modernisation Program - to help more Victorians to pursue careers in agriculture.

"It's critical we invest in our future agriculture leaders and give them the skills they need to thrive in our growing and exciting agriculture sector," Ms Symes said.

"Victoria's agriculture sector proudly supports thousands of country jobs. Investing in purpose-built education and training will ensure our next generation of farmers hit the ground running."

The program will help agriculture colleges and other training providers to upgrade the facilities they need to upskill future farmers and agriculture professionals.

Ms Symes said three agriculture colleges would share in $20 million in funding for upgrades to student accommodation and teaching facilities.

The University of Melbourne's Dookie campus in the Goulburn Valley wouldl receive funding over two years to build staff, student and conference accommodation for up to 130 people.

Longerenong College in the Wimmera region would use its funding over two years to build student accommodation for 33 people, a communal building for conferences and student gatherings, and other on-campus improvements.

Marcus Oldham College would construct 30 new student bedrooms at the Waurn Ponds campus near Geelong, over two years, with its funding.

The remaining $30 million will create the Future Agriculture Skills Capacity Fund which will support TAFEs and other agriculture education and training providers to develop students' skills and carve a pathway into the industry.

Ms Symes said the Agricultural College Modernisation program was part of the government's ongoing support for the sector and work to create a pipeline of skilled workers that can contribute to its growth as we recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund will help produce a workforce rich in digital, business, risk and marketing skills as well as entrepreneurs to take products to international markets.

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