A new hothouse at GOTAFE in Shepparton, funded by the Andrews Labor Government, will help foster a growing number of students in horticulture courses, preparing them for rewarding careers locally and across Victoria.
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today launched the $217,700 hothouse, which will accommodate about 40 students each year and help to meet demand from the local horticulture sector.
The 400 square metre facility features a hydroponic fit-out, irrigation and gas heating systems, computer controls, solar and thermal screens, guttering, benches and a fogging system which helps to maintain an optimal growing temperature – and can be controlled by a smart phone.
The hothouse will be a vital tool in the delivery of Certificate III in Production Horticulture, giving the chance for students to learn in an industry-standard facility.
The Labor Government invested in this project through the Regional and Specialist Training Fund (RSTF), a targeted funding stream that supports training for specific skills in regional and specialist areas that are not being met by the current training market.
Since 2014, the Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding career pathways.
Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“We’re ensuring TAFE students have all the tools they need while they train, like this new hothouse at GOTAFE, so they’re ready to hit the ground running in jobs in their local communities and right across Victoria.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas
“We know that our state's horticulture production is a driving force in our agriculture industry - this is why GOTAFE in Shepparton is so important to provide critical skills and training to our next generation of farmers."
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“The horticulture and agriculture sector in northern Victoria is going from strength to strength and this investment is great news for local students and businesses too.”
Quote attributable to GOTAFE CEO Travis Heeney
“Demand for horticulture courses is increasing – and with this new hothouse we can deliver a broad training experience which will enable students to work anywhere in the region, supporting local industry.”
Reviewed 23 February 2022