Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie will today visit Charles Sturt University and GO TAFE in Wangaratta with state Nationals member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy.
The two education providers have partnered to offer agricultural education study options where students can advance from Certificate III to degrees in agriculture and agribusiness. Degrees in nursing, horticulture and wine business will be offered next year, with a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology expected to be offered in 2015.
Senator McKenzie said an Australian Bureau of Statistics report released this week showed vocational qualifications outnumbered university level qualifications by two to one in regional Australia.
‘‘Partnerships such as this expand higher educational opportunities for regional students, while filling a national workforce shortage,’’ she said.
‘‘We need more skilled agricultural professionals and this partnership offers regional students the opportunity to pursue an exciting and relevant career without having to relocate to Melbourne.’’
Senator McKenzie will also visit the La Trobe University campus in Wodonga.
‘‘The Coalition has committed $2million for agriculture education and will include students undertaking agricultural and horticultural apprenticeships on the National Skills Needs List,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘We need a highly skilled and innovative workforce which is able to steer the agriculture sector through the many challenges posed by an increasingly competitive global marketplace.’’
Senator McKenzie said The Nationals, as part of a Coalition Government, were dedicated to reducing red tape for higher education providers, with Education Minister Christopher Pyne yesterday announcing a commitment to implementing recommendations of the Review of Higher Education Regulation.
Media contact: Kathleen Tonini mob: 0400530027