$33,000 boost for Central Coast Community College

Students serving coffee in the training café at Central Coast Community College

Central Coast Community College, which provides training for disadvantaged students from all over the region, has received a $33,000 boost through the latest round of a NSW Government fund aimed at upgrading crucial infrastructure and training equipment.

The college, based at Ourimbah, was one of 30 not for profit community education providers state-wide to benefit from the latest funding round in the ACE Infrastructure Funding Program. Central Coast Community College CEO, Joanne Martin, said the money would build on $125,000 which the college received last year from the funding program.

“This money is specifically for infrastructure and training equipment under the ACE program,” Martin said.

“The college provides skills sets, not full qualifications, giving disadvantaged students a chance to re-engage with learning and help set them on a pathway for further learning or career options.

“Last year we used the money to establish a training café at our Ourimbah campus, where students can learn barista skills.

“We bought industry standard coffee making machines and they get the same experience in our café as they would in the workplace.

“We also established a creche for single parents.

“Some of our students couldn’t get to training because of commitments with their children – this way the children attend the creche while the parent is undergoing training.

“We also established a trade training centre; a room where we can deliver an early introduction to some of the engineering, fabrication and electro technology trades to give students a taste for what those trades might look like.

“We can then help them into an apprenticeship.”

Martin said the funds also allowed for upgrades of IT equipment. “With this year’s funding we intend to replicate that training facility at our small business incubator in Gateshead,” she said.

“This funding is invaluable (in helping) us to provide the right sort of training here on the Coast.”

Tuggerah Lakes Community College will also receive funding under the latest round.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee, said the funding will see students benefit from upgraded resources and industry standard training equipment.

“ACE colleges support the delivery of training to disadvantaged students who face barriers engaging in mainstream vocational education,” Lee said.

“The funding will allow (the) colleges to expand their online delivery by providing IT equipment, laptops and software as well as upgrading industry‐specific plant and equipment for specialist vocational training.”

Lee said the grants had come at an important time and will help community colleges advance their virtual teaching capabilities thanks to the new IT equipment.

Terry Collins