TAFE gets $1.1 million to help more Bendigo people study

Bendigo Kangan Institute's Donna Rogers listens as Maree Edwards explains the government's funding commitment. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
Bendigo Kangan Institute's Donna Rogers listens as Maree Edwards explains the government's funding commitment. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

A FURTHER 150 people identified as “high needs learners” will be able to access a program helping them to study at TAFE in Bendigo.

The state government provided an additional $1.1 million to Bendigo Kangan Institute to expand the Skills First reconnect program, announced in Bendigo on Monday.

The program gives one-on-one support to help early school leavers, parents returning to work and those with low literacy and numeracy skills address personal barriers and get back into study.

The program has run since 2016 and is available to people aged 17 to 64.

Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Donna Rogers said the additional funding meant they could offer support to a growing number of students.

“A lot of people would probably think if they didn’t have the support, then going back to TAFE could be a big challenge for them,” she said.

“Having these support services gives them pathways through to employment so it’s very exciting for us because it’s setting them up for success.

“We’ve seen people grow with great confidence when they come in not knowing what to do, what courses to do, we’ve seen people then move into good employment outcomes.”

The funding is part of a move by the state government to address falling TAFE enrolment, targeting Bendigo, Echuca and Broadmeadows.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the program ensured people had basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics to help them enter courses.

“It’s particularly geared at young people who are disengaged from education, and it’s also geared at the long-term unemployed,” she said.