With sparks flying two apprentice welders give a demo to Geoff Howard Member for Buninyong and Sharon Knight Member for Wendouree at FedUni fabrications.

THE Andrews Labor Government is lifting the burden forced on Federation University Australia by the former Liberal Government with a boost to support for vulnerable students.

Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard last week met with Engineering students who will benefit from $1 million in Community Service funding which will enable Federation University to provide extra student support across a number of courses and programs. This funding is delivered as part of the Labor Government’s $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund and will support:

• Community Outreach in areas including, Ararat, Maryborough and Stawell; • a Youth Engagement Coordinator to assist disengaged young people and school leavers; • Student and course support in Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering, Food Services, Rural Sciences, Hairdressing and Beauty Services, and Live Production (Theatre); and • The Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) program – which tests students in language, literacy and numeracy to help determine the support needed by students as they progress through their chosen field of study. At present the University is able to assess the language, literacy and numeracy needs of around 700 students (approximately half of the 1,400 potential students needing this support). The extra funding means 1,400 students from our region will be able to be assessed and those needing extra literacy and numeracy support will be able to receive it. Coalition funding cuts devastated TAFEs across the state, ripping away funding needed to provide vital student services and support for disadvantaged and vulnerable students. The Community Service funding is part of the Labor Government’s $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund. The Labor Government is supporting Federation University to train the state’s future workforce through a number of initiatives including the TAFE Back to Work Fund, from which it received $2.9 million. “This $1 million in funding will mean Federation University is able to give local apprentices and trainees the support they need to complete their study,” Mr Howard said. “We promised to support Fed Uni to give students access to training and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”