Workforce Development

Officially launched by Ms Jaclyn Symes MLC, Member for Northern Victoria, on 14 September 2018, the Workforce Development Project is a strategic solution to the mounting need for skilled workforce development in North East Victoria.

Funded by a grant from the Regional Skills Fund—awarded by Regional Development Victoria (now the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions)—the project will strengthen pathways for young people into training and employment in two industries in the Ovens Murray region—Agriculture/Horticulture, and Health Care and Social Assistance.

Participating Year 9 students will be involved in industry placements and career pathways through specific learning embedded in their school’s curriculum as well as undertaking School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs), industry experience and further tertiary study.

The project is based upon a prototype (see video below) established at Mansfield Secondary College by Julie Aldous, a former teacher and now Industry-Education Liaison Officer (Agriculture/Horticulture) with the project.

The Mansfield agribusiness program—the ‘Mansfield Model’—fostered strong local networks between the school, students, farmers and agribusinesses to engage students in local career pathways, and has led to the school strengthening engagement with industry through SBATs.

Partners in the project, NE Tracks Local Learning and Employment Network and NELLEN will deliver the Workforce Development Project from July 2018 through to June 2022.

Better outcomes through partnerships

The success of the project depends on strong links between schools, TAFEs, universities and industry as well as the community.

    Participating students will:

    • engage in applied/practical learning
    • contribute units towards VCAL and VCE completion including ATAR
    • develop work-related skills, social and emotional learning
    • build relationships with the local community
    • be provided access to a breadth of career pathways. [An earlier level delivery of Certificate II can direct Year 10/11 subject choices that can address prerequisites for specific university or TAFE units. This enables student familiarity with certificate learning and RTO staff, providing the pathway to being an independent learner.]

    Outcomes for Schools

    • improve outcomes for students (e.g. students are inspired to follow study opportunities and career pathways in industry)
    • improve engagement and retention rates
    • provide opportunities for Social and Emotional Learning, Industry and Enterprise Skills.

    Benefits for Communities

    • have students who are engaged with learning
    • be strengthened by relationships
    • have students who have employment options—short-term and potential long-term.


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