Engineering New Opportunities for Benalla

Aspiring engineers are invited to an information session at GOTAFE to discover opportunities available through a new workplace based training program.

Thanks to funds provided by State Government’s Regional Specialist Training Fund, brand new training opportunities are now available in the Benalla region, explained GOTAFE Partnership Engagement Manager Kate Storer.

“We’re working with local businesses to provide job candidates with workplace experience and training through the Certificate II in Engineering,” explained Mrs Storer.

“All of the businesses we’ve spoken to about the program have been very supportive. A number are actually desperate for skilled workers such as Welders. Everyone is very keen to support the local job market.”

The 12 week training program based in Benalla will offer students an insight into working in this industry. Three weeks of work experience is being provided by local businesses.

“Students will be given the basic skills they need so they can hit the ground running, whether that be through continued employment with their placement provider or when they progress onto a full Apprenticeship.”

“Each student will be mentored by our team along the way and fully supported through their learning experience.”

The first intake of students will commence in September. Students who demonstrate excellence in their training may be considered for permanent employment or potentially pathway into manufacturing or other trades.

More than $4 million was announced last month when the Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney visited GOTAFE. Funding will be used to provide 12 new courses to address community needs in growth areas such as agriculture industry expansion and innovation, community services, NDIS readiness and more.

“GOTAFE is vital to delivering quality training to people in Northern Victoria – that’s why we’re funding 12 new courses and boosting support for students,” said Minister Tierney.

“This funding means that more people will have access training closer to home and get the support they need to finish their course.”

If you would like to participate in this exciting project and help sustain the Benalla workforce for the future please contact Kate Storer at or call 0400 611 465. To register for the upcoming information session held on Monday 13 August 2018 from 4pm to 5pm at GOTAFE Benalla visit

Jeremy Connell Crowned Victorian Apprentice of the Year

On Wednesday 11 October, GOTAFE Engineering student Jeremy Connell was announced Apprentice of the Year at the Victorian Training Awards (VTA) Presentation night. The evening was held at the Crown Palladium, a venue befitting the achievements of the finalists.

After a vigorous selection process, Jeremy was one of three finalists and was announced as the Apprentice of the Year by the Minister for Training and Skills, the Hon. Gayle Tierney at the awards night. Jeremy was joined by his employer, Heath Lloyd from Wangaratta Engineering, his partner and his GOTAFE Trainer Greg Keane.

GOTAFE Engineering Trainer Greg Keane said he was delighted to attend the VTA Award Ceremony and see Jeremy up on that stage receiving the Apprentice of the Year award.

“When Jeremy’s name was called out as Apprentice of the Year, I couldn’t have been happier,” Greg said. “I have been lucky enough to be involved in Jeremy’s training since he started as a school-based trainee six years ago.”

“Throughout the entire time he stood out, his skills, his passion, his drive, the quiet way he went about his work and for me it was the way he always made time to help his fellow students, he often put their needs above his own.”

“From the start, I knew he was something special, so when he decided to go back to high school to finish Year 12, after finishing Certificate II in Engineering then come back to us to start his apprenticeship which is a slightly different path that a school-based trainee might take, I said to his employer Wangaratta Engineering, this young man is special let’s work with him to make it happen.”

“For our Engineering Department, Jeremy winning this award is affirmation we are doing great work here, we have great facilities, dedicated trainers and a commitment to our students and the broader engineering field.”

The awards recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of vocational education and training students, teachers, training providers and employers across 15 award categories with winners sharing a total prize pool of $65,000.