Certificates in agriculture and horticulture will be offered for the first time at South West TAFE in Colac, Vic, after the state government announced a $1 million investment into new equipment at the campus.
Funding of $264,000 will see two quad bikes, a side-by-side utility vehicle, a new tractor and security system purchased, along with upgrades to workshops and polycarbonate greenhouse sheeting.
During a visit to the local Craiglands Holsteins farm, Colac, Vic, Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney announced the funding, along with new courses to meet a growing demand.
A Certificate II in Horticulture will be established for the first time, while a fully-delivered Certificate III and IV in Agriculture will now take place the Colac, Vic, campus.
"Our investment in South West TAFE will boost the number of opportunities for local students as well as provide them with the vital, world-class tools they need to be job ready," Ms Tierney said.
Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said there would be prospects for graduates due to demand for skilled workers in the local primary production industry, which was the third-largest sector in the Colac Otway Shire.
Agriculture and horticulture courses are becoming increasingly popular.- Mark Fidge, South West TAFE chief executive
"We know how important the agriculture and horticulture sectors are to Victoria, which is why we're securing a local pipeline of skilled workers through our world-class TAFE and training system," Ms Thomas said.
The remaining $785,000 of funding will buy civil construction plant and machinery for Civil Construction courses and other programs at South West TAFE's Sherwood campus.
South West TAFE chief executive Mark Fidge said TAFE would value training that was beneficial to local industries.
"Agriculture and horticulture courses are becoming increasingly popular - and we're excited to play such a significant role in fostering the next generation of workers to support the local industry and communities," Mr Fidge said.
Want to read more stories like this?
Sign up below to receive our e-newsletter delivered fresh to your email in-box twice a week.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.