Prime Minister visits Central Coast Community College in Hunter Valley

Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the Central Coast Community College’s campus at HVTC’s Skills Centre in Rutherford earlier this week.

College CEO Joanne Martin said it was a great opportunity for the PM to meet some of this year’s trade training apprenticeship students. The College is the only community college in Australia that delivers trade training in electrotechnology and engineering – mechanical and fabrication.

“Today the PM got to see firsthand the positive impact our training has had for new and ongoing apprenticeship students. Vocational education and training will play a key role in preparing Australians with the skills they need for the jobs of the future. We were pleased to showcase our state-of-the-art training facility located on the HVTC head office premises in the Hunter Valley, where our first, second and third year apprentices are learning core hands-on skills,” Ms Martin said.

“Our amalgamation with HVTC has enabled us to support students across a number of cohorts, including many disadvantaged members of our community, in accessing high quality training in high demand industries where there are employment opportunities,” Ms Martin said.

Martin also spoke with Mr Morrison about the various Government initiatives that allowed the College to retain the majority of its trade training students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At our Rutherford campus, we train around 150 trade training apprentices each year,” she said.

“Throughout the pandemic, the College was fortunate to be able to convert delivery of training to enable students to access training remotely using online resources and Zoom to ensure consistency of face to face interaction with trainers. As a result, we only lost four apprentices from one employer as a result of COVID-19, and were able to continue to support our remaining students in their training so they didn’t experience any delay in working towards their qualifications,” Ms Martin said.

“Jobs growth and retention will be key to the ongoing economic recovery of the country. We are committed to providing skills training and employment opportunities to school leavers and job seekers across the Hunter, Newcastle and Central Coast.”

In relation to trade training, Central Coast Community College delivers NSW Government ACE (Adult and Community Education) funded trade taster courses and Smart & Skilled funded traineeships and apprenticeships training. In partnership with HVTC – as one of only nine providers nationally – the College delivers the Federally funded Youth Jobs PaTH Industry Pilot Program across the Hunter and Central Coast. The program, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, aims to improve career and training pathways for young people through employability skills training, industry specific skills training and a trial internship with a potential employer.

“The goal is to ultimately transition participants into an apprenticeship or traineeship or direct employment and a number of participants have successfully secured traineeships through the Program,” Ms Martin said.

“Unemployment in Australia reached 7.5% in July last year as a result of COVID-19, even higher for young people. So the more we can do to help train young, disadvantaged people and support them in finding and retaining employment, the better,” Ms Martin said.

(photos from the Prime Minister’s visit below:)

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