New training providers for local dairy sector

By Dairy News

WestVic Dairy has announced the appointment of two south-west Victorian training providers to take over the delivery of education and training programs for local dairy farmers.

South West TAFE and Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST) will replace GOTAFE as the new preferred providers of a range of programs to boost the capability of local dairy farmers and their employees.

GOTAFE recently announced it would close its Terang campus to focus on the delivery of programs in the state’s north-east, where it is based.

WestVic Dairy regional manager Lindsay Ferguson said anyone presently undertaking courses with GOTAFE would be able to complete those studies using the new provider network.

South West TAFE will run courses out of its Glenormiston Campus, while RIST dairy programs will be offered from a new Terang campus.

The changes follow Dairy Australia last year announcing a new industry training framework to create local provider networks in each of the country’s eight dairy regions.

“We are very fortunate to have two good industry training providers in South West TAFE and RIST to deliver these vital programs, so we’re very pleased to welcome them on board,” Mr Ferguson said.

“We are working with Dairy Australia and the two providers to strengthen existing programs and develop new training initiatives to really build the capability of those people working in the local dairy industry.”

Dairy Australia program manager Shane Hellwege said industry training was an important component of the organisation’s work to help people in the industry reach their full potential.

“These programs carry enormous benefits for a region like the south-west, where dairy is such an important part of the local economy,” Mr Hellwege said.

“The involvement of WestVic Dairy in customising the local delivery of education and training ensures that these activities meet specific local needs and that’s good news for regional farmers.”

RIST chief executive officer Bill Hamill said the organisation was thrilled to expand its contribution to the dairy industry.

“We have been active in the dairy training space for many years and this development is a great opportunity for us to grow that and link more closely with the significant industry research and resources that Dairy Australia brings to the table,” Mr Hamill said.

South West TAFE chief executive officer Mark Fidge said the organisation had the support and infrastructure in place to ensure a seamless transition for students presently enrolled in GOTAFE courses.

“With our dairy industry connections and collaboration, we can offer programs that will allow our students to deliver real value and best practice to their employers,” Mr Fidge said.

“All of our agricultural programs, including dairy, are co-designed with our industry reference group to ensure that we are really hitting the needs of those industries.”