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SWTAFE Wins Victorian Training Provider Title

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South West TAFE has been named Victoria’s Large Training Provider of the Year and has been shortlisted as one of three finalists for the national title.

CEO Mark Fidge said winning the Victorian Training Award and being chosen as a national finalist was due recognition for TAFE staff and their commitment to the local community, industry and students.

“To get shortlisted for the Australian Training Awards is massive; it’s the first time this has happened for South West TAFE and it’s great news for a small regional TAFE,” Mr Fidge said.

“It’s a real honour for our region,” he said. “To be a finalist nationally demonstrates the amazing innovative practices and commitment of our staff to fulfil our important role in the community.”

Apprentice plumber Shona McGuigan, who completed her Certificate III in Plumbing at South West TAFE, is also vying for the Victorian Apprentice of the Year title which will be announced on Thursday.

The national training provider winner will be announced on November 20.

Mr Fidge said the Victorian award reflected the culture of South West TAFE and the commitment of staff to forge strong connections with industry, community and students and respond to their needs.

“This award is acknowledgement and due recognition for all that hard work over the past few years where we’ve had the Teacher of the Year, Koorie Student of the Year and now Large Training Provider of the Year titles along with a student as a finalist for Apprentice of the Year.

“There are some fantastic results coming through from staff surveys that show we’re creating a great place to work and that leads to an environment where staff want to stay connected and engaged and create success for students and for our local industry and community.

“This is an outstanding result and acknowledgement of the outstanding workforce we have.”

Mr Fidge said this year South West TAFE had demonstrated it has teachers who are agile, flexible and willing to adapt to their students’ needs and support staff who know how to make that happen.

“Because of the position we’re in, we were able to adapt to COVID and to retain that sense of connection.”

South West TAFE previously won the Victorian Large Training Provider of the Year title about 10 years ago but this is its first time as a finalist for the national award.

Go TAFE and Box Hill Institute were the other Victorian finalists.

In 2019, South West TAFE delivered training to 5,000 students in Colac, Hamilton, Portland, Warrnambool and Glenormiston, leading to about 4,260 jobs.

Photo credit: Warrnambool Stanard