Partnerships between industry and education develops new products

Victorian businesses are now able to apply for grants from the Workforce Training Innovation Fund.

The fund provides support for industry and education providers to utilise innovative technologies and processes to upskill students to fit the needs of employers.

Seed funding of $50,000 per project or grant funding of up to $5 million per project is available. Categories of projects that can receive funding include new training, products, and methods, applied research, workforce training and skills development, and priority sectors, as defined by the Victorian government.

“This is fundamentally an investment in people. We are making sure that workers have the skills they need, and workplaces have the talent and technology they need to run efficiently,” said Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, Gayle Tierney.

Launching the latest round of grants, Tierney visited the inaugural Workforce Training Innovation Fund Showcase, which demonstrated the fruits of previous rounds of the program.

“The projects on display today show the wonderful work we’re doing to develop innovative, cutting-edge training solutions to meet the needs of students and industry,” said Tierney.

At the Showcase, products created in collaboration between education and industry partners were on display, including a virtual mushroom picker, developed by Costa Group with Melbourne Polytechnic. The device allows field workers and trainers to gain an understanding of what work in the field consists of, prior to going into the field.

“Partnerships between training providers and industry leads to an ideal environment for new ideas, new solutions and ultimately, new jobs,” said Tierney.

Past projects that have received funding through the program sit within sectors such as the manufacture of caravans, installation of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems, and Aviation/Aerospace training.

An information session on the program will be held on Tuesday, August 13 from 2 to 4pm at the VET Development Centre, Level 8/379 Collins St, Melbourne.  Applications are accepted until Friday, September 20, 2019.