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SWTAFE shortlisted for major training award

South West TAFE has been shortlisted as a finalist for the major Victorian training award, just three years after winning the title.

After its success in 2020, South West TAFE is one of three finalists for the Large Training Provider of the Year in the 2023 Victorian Training Awards.

CEO Mark Fidge said the shortlisting acknowledged the outstanding achievements of staff and students, consistent growth in student numbers and teaching innovation.

“It is a bit unusual to be selected as a finalist only a few years after our last win, but it is fantastic recognition for our staff, students and our community,” Mr Fidge said.

He attributed the shortlisting to South West TAFE’s high student, staff and employer satisfaction results and excellent student outcomes.

“It demonstrates that we have great outcomes for the region we support and service,” Mr Fidge said. “Our theme for 2023 is about changing lives and we do that very well by giving students opportunities to go on to the job of their dreams or to further study.

“We achieve that by listening to our industry partners and tailoring training to make sure it is beneficial for our students. It’s about listening and understanding so we can add social and economic value to our region.  We love working in and with the community, and that sets us apart.”

Mr Fidge said he believed South West TAFE’s focus on innovation was another big part of its shortlisting, along with the successful joint library project and upcoming tech school.

South West TAFE also achieved significant growth in key regional workforce occupations including farm workers, general clerks, education aides and electricians, and worked with the region’s health and social assistance employers to identify workforce shortages and introduce new training models and update facilities and equipment to build enrolments in aged and disabled care, nursing, welfare support and early childhood development.

Mr Fidge said to be shortlisted was worthy of celebration but he really hoped to celebrate a win with staff. “The last win was in 2020 and we weren’t able to celebrate in a normal way because of COVID,” he said.

South West TAFE won both the Victorian and national Large Training Provider titles in 2020 and won the Victorian award in 2010.

Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute, and TAFE Gippsland have also been chosen as finalists. The winner will be announced on Friday August 18.