COLAC education leaders say discovering the impact of state-wide TAFE funding cuts on the city’s trade training centre will be a “waiting game”.
Construction on Colac Secondary College’s part of the city’s trade training centre, for automotive and construction trades, will begin in about two weeks.
Trinity College’s hospitality training centre has also started to take shape.
Organisations such as The Gordon and South West TAFE will provide training in the centres.
The State Government’s budget cuts have forced 16 redundancies at The Gordon and 43 job cuts at South West TAFE.
Colac Secondary College’s Simon Dewar said skills-shortage industries such as automotive and construction should be safe despite the cuts.
“We are having ongoing discussions with The Gordon and other providers and will hopefully be in a better position to make decisions once courses are offered for 2013,” Mr Dewar said.
“This is expected to happen during August,” he said.
“The positive news is that students currently enrolled in a course will have the option to continue, and I’m confident that courses offered as part of the trade training centre – building construction and automotive – will not be affected.”
Trinity principal Tim O’Farrell said he hoped district students could continue to receive hands-on trade training.
“We’d hope that whatever the funding implications are, all people wanting an education in those areas will still be able to afford what’s on offer,” Mr O’Farrell said.
The Gordon chief executive officer Grant Sutherland said the institute would use a three-phase approach to limit the uncertainty for staff and students.
Mr Sutherland said the first phase’s 16 voluntary redundancies would not impact on students.
The Gordon will prepare a business transition plan for the State Government and review its courses in the second phase, before implementing the plan in phase three.
“It is anticipated that the institute will be in a position to make some decisions on courses, staffing and operations towards the end of August,” Mr Sutherland said.
“The Gordon is confident of its future and will be seeking ongoing, additional funding from the State Government to meet the needs of the wider Geelong region,” he said.