Media releases

Tackling inequality in Gippsland through education

Posted: Thursday 21 November 2019

Federation University Australia has used a Senate Inquiry to call on governments to help pinpoint workforce skills shortages in the Gippsland region. 

Gippsland Head of Campus Leigh Kennedy addressed a Senate Economics References Committee hearing in Traralgon as part of its inquiry into regional inequality in Australia. 

Ms Kennedy highlighted the need for government to work more closely with industry and education providers to identify Gippsland’s long-term workforce requirements across a range of sectors. 

Knowing where there are shortages of skilled workers and which industries are primed for growth will help the University play a significant role in tackling inequality in Gippsland. 

It would enable the University to offer courses that local industry needs and that will give students the best chance of getting a job in Gippsland when they graduate. 

The call from the University follows its launch of a new Gippsland-based bachelor degree in occupational therapy to help tackle the region's shortage of allied health professionals. 

The new degree will begin in 2020 and was developed in consultation with leaders from the Gippsland and Latrobe Valley health sector.  

With an increased focus from government into identifying the region’s long-term workforce requirements, the University could more easily and quickly respond to this need across a range of sectors.  

Key figures: 

·         85 per cent of students studying at the Churchill campus are from Gippsland, predominantly Latrobe City.  

·         68 per cent of Federation University Bachelor graduates and 63 per cent of postgraduates are employed in regional areas. 

Quotes attributable to Federation University Gippsland Head of Campus, Ms Leigh Kennedy  

"We know that when students study regionally, they are more inclined to stay in regional areas.”  

“Federation University can play an important role in the economic transition of the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland in partnership with governments, local industry and education providers, however, comprehensive planning is needed to ensure our programs align with the needs of the local community.” 

Contact Matthew Freeman
Media and Government Relations
03 5327 9510; 0408 519 674