NEWS IN BRIEF | Shepparton News

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Financed by: MP for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp. Photo by contribution

TAFE investment of 10,000 places

More Victorians will have access to the skills they need for the job they want, with funding for an additional 10,000 places in TAFE and a training scheme for people looking to retrain post-pandemic and move on health and other in-demand jobs.

Northern Victoria MP Mark Gepp said the additional $61.6 million investment will give more Campaspe County residents the opportunity to learn new skills for secure employment in their local community and all over Victoria.

Job seekers can choose to study any VET course, including from the Government of Victoria’s free TAFE list, at any TAFE.

Even Victorians who already have another qualification – including a diploma – can still access these training venues if they are looking to retrain or change careers after the pandemic.

Importantly, this investment will help boost the local pool of highly skilled workers for current and future jobs, especially in high demand sectors such as healthcare, hospitality, early childhood education, construction and trades.

In 2020, the most popular courses in the TAFE system included mental health, nursing and paramedic assistance – as the pandemic underscored the importance of a strong health and care workforce.

Over 100,000 Victorians have already signed up for the Free TAFE scheme since its introduction in 2019.

To learn more and explore free TAFE options, visit: www.vic.gov.au/free-tafe

Mental health problems

A new survey detailing the decline in young people’s mental health following the pandemic has further underscored the urgent need to rejuvenate Victoria’s mental health workforce, according to the state’s opposition.

The survey, conducted in February by research firm Resolve Strategic, found that a quarter of young Australians had thought about suicide in the past two years.

The highest number of reports of anxiety and depression were recorded among young adults aged 16 to 24.

Shadow Mental Health Minister Emma Kealy has called for a targeted recruitment drive to strengthen Victoria’s mental health workforce.

“Parents are at their wit’s end knowing their children are in desperate need of crisis support, only to be denied clinics or languish on a waiting list for months until it is almost too late to help,” Ms Kealy said.

“Whether you are in secondary or higher education, a stable learning environment and time with friends are essential for good mental health, but these young people now find themselves scrambling to catch up after six grueling lockdowns.

“The state Labor government stubbornly refuses to listen to dozens of reports calling for immediate labor reform.

“This includes more than half of the recommendations from the Victorian Royal Commission’s interim report three years ago. The pandemic has only worsened labor shortages.

‘Only the Liberals and Victoria Nationals have a positive plan to unlock 2000 practitioners to provide counseling in Victoria’s state schools and for the country’s biggest labor recruitment drive.’

The recruitment drive would see thousands of scholarships and resettlement support schemes offered to bring more people into Victoria’s mental health system as soon as possible.

Ms Kealy said additional training places would also be made available for psychiatrists and psychologists.

“The data tells us that emergency departments in Victoria have been inundated with young people who have self-harmed or are having suicidal ideation due to pandemic pressures,” Ms Kealy said.

“We have a responsibility to do more to support them before they reach crisis point.

“The key to this is ensuring there are enough psychologists, counsellors, GPs and mental health experts to provide a strengthened workforce that has the resources to recover and rebuild. the good mental health of Victorians.”

Conference Reflections of the river

Tickets are on sale now for the second annual River Reflections Regional Water Conference, taking place June 1-2 in Mildura, Victoria.

River Reflections provides the space and time for the diverse communities of the Murray-Darling Basin to come together to listen and learn from each other. The first conference took place in Griffith in June 2021.

Murray-Darling Basin Authority acting chief executive Andrew Reynolds said regional communities had lived and worked with the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin for generations and held vital knowledge and experience.

“The conference is a chance to connect basin communities, industries and ideas,” said Reynolds.

“It provides an opportunity for diverse communities to come together and learn from each other.

“The people of the Murray-Darling Basin depend on a healthy and productive river system for their lives and livelihoods, and water management in the Basin relies on a partnership between governments, industries and communities. . »

The 2022 conference will see a wide range of national and local speakers sharing their ideas and perspectives on challenges and innovations, community resilience, and river and ecosystem health.

The program includes a combination of field trips, lectures, panel discussions and breakout sessions.

Acclaimed demographer Simon Kuestenmacher will deliver a keynote on the first day, sharing insights into the macro trends created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts and opportunities for communities in the basin. On day two, MDBA President Angus Houston will speak about the future of the Basin and the knowledge needed to sustain industries, communities and the environment over the long term.

Organized by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the conference takes place at the Grand Hotel in Mildura. Tickets are $100 each (plus $6.59 booking fee) to attend in person, including the conference dinner on Wednesday evening, or you can register to attend most sessions virtually via livestream. directly at no cost.

The MDBA developed the program with community members from Mildura and surrounding areas.

To learn more and book your ticket, visit River Reflections | Murray-Darling Basin Authority in mdba.gov.au

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