STUDENTS from 15 secondary schools in Ballarat now have access to the latest technology and innovative learning programs, with the opening of the new Ballarat Tech School.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Education James Merlino, on Friday, along with Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard to officially open the brand new Tech School – the third of 10 Tech Schools to open under the Andrews Labor Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative.
The new Ballarat Tech School includes an IT and virtual reality lab, along with innovative project spaces dedicated to locally identified industry areas including health science, new energy technologies, food and fibre, advanced manufacturing and information technology.
Designed by Patrick Architects and built by Nicholson Construction, the Tech School is located in a newly refurbished building spanning over two levels at Federation University Australia’s SMB campus.
The high-tech hands-on programs will be offered free to more than 10,000 students from the 15 government, catholic and independent schools and are aligned with industries predicted to experience economic and employment growth – helping kids secure the jobs they need in the future.
Tech Schools are part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of Year 9 students reaching the highest level of achievement in mathematics and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science.
Premier Andrews said, “This is about ensuring our kids have the facilities available to prepare them for whatever the future brings.
“We’re connecting industry, schools and tertiary providers so we can meet the needs of the next generation of industry, and the next generation of Victorians.
“Great things will happen here, great things and we are so very proud to have made it possible and all those who have been a part of this journey with us, thank you very much.” Mr Merlino added, “Our kids need to be prepared for the jobs of the future – and that’s exactly what our Tech Schools will deliver. Tech Schools will make STEM accessible and exciting, giving students’ practical experience and confidence.
“The students will get a taste of career opportunities, career pathways, a high of high-tech equipment, and for the senior secondary kids they will be able to get master classes, so it’s about building on the existing curriculum at each of their own schools and then getting master classes in particular fields of endeavour.”