At its meeting on Tuesday, 7 March 2017, Wellington Shire Council tabled a motion that the Mayor write to the Premier of Victoria, the Honourable Daniel Andrews seeking an urgent meeting to discuss Federation Training’s lack of commitment to the provision of vocational training and education to the Sale community and the broader Wellington Shire. Of particular concern, is the complete lack of strategy for the relocation of students from an isolated, deplorable and inadequate training facility at the Fulham campus to a new facility in Sale’s CBD. This lack of strategy over many years has resulted in courses being closed or relocated to other Gippsland campuses and student’s numbers in freefall. The Premier and his Minister for Training and Skills, the Honourable Gayle Tierney must act now.
Councillor Darren McCubbin extended his frustrations in relation to the Federation Training facility at Sale. He said: “I am extremely disappointed at the constant changing of Chief Executive Officers and a changing Board which is leading to mistrust in leadership at the centre, there is also very low staff morale and a lack of appropriate and relevant courses available to students which is resulting in declining student enrolments.”
“Training and Further Education (TAFE) is essential for the enhancement and development of skills for our students, to enable them to gain suitable employment and also progress in their own personal development.”
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Carolyn Crossley confirmed that something needs to be done. “The Victorian Government have made three announcements over the past couple of weeks in relation to investment in TAFE in the areas of Wodonga, Shepparton and Bendigo.
“Once again, Gippsland is being ignored and Council will continue to strongly advocate for improved TAFE facilities to service the needs of the Wellington Shire community with Federation Training and the State Government.
“Since the State Government recently rejected a funding proposal to move Federation Training into the Sale CBD, it is more important than ever that transport links to Fulham are implemented as a matter of high priority.”
Since 2014, enrolments for Cert II Diploma Courses at Federation Training have declined dramatically from 2,017 to 649 in 2016. There have also been recent reports of further declining student enrolments, job losses and cuts in the courses being offered.