January has been a busy month for our Minister for Regional Development, Skills, and Small Business John Barilaro, who traded in the high country for the coastline, travelling north for his Regional Tour. Jumping from town to town, John visited industry and TAFE facilities, announcing funding wins and applauding small business leaders.
John teed off his Regional Tour in Coffs Harbour with local MP Andrew Fraser, announcing a $25,000 grant to the Coffs Harbour Golf Range. The funding will go towards making the facility more functional and creating greater access for golfers with disabilities.
Next on the list was the North Coast Institute of TAFE with Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. The Pacific Highway was the focus, with the upgrades spiking more jobs, which in turn has provided re-skilling and up-skilling possibilities for its workers. The NSW Government training subsidies, allowing highly proficient workers with pre-existing qualifications to switch trades, are in full force as construction on the Pacific Highway continues.
Travelling further north into Lismore, John joined Thomas George MP, visiting the Nimbin Valley Dairy facilities. With the help of Bara and his NSW Government counterparts, the dairy has implemented renewable energy options for its farm and factory to improve profitability and sustainability. This is a great example of how regional businesses can increase their environmental sustainability while growing profit margins.
The two MPs also dropped by the Student Central upgrade at the North Coast TAFE Lismore campus. This new service offers a helping hand to those acquiring new skills and pursuing a career path.
With students returning to school this week, and TAFE and University campuses opening their doors to the 2016 contingency, training our future workforce is front and centre. John Barilaro’s tour highlights the broad spectrum of support available to those with a desire to learn, as well as the initiatives in place that will ensure our workforces are skilled and ready to face an ever-growing economy.