Geelong (Victoria) has been chosen as home for the $14 million Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.
Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane said the new Centre would be integrated with a network of Centres across Australia and would develop a sector competitiveness plan to link local businesses with global companies.
Mr Macfarlane said a new Job Connections Office would be housed within the Centre, and a Geelong Region Future Jobs Taskforce would also be established.
“The Plan will identify jobs and skills needs, provide a pipeline of innovations ready to commercialise, and consider areas for reforming regulation, manufacturing transformation and growth,” Mr Macfarlane said.
He said the nearby Newcomb Secondary College would introduce an industry partnership to prepare students to enter the workforce and develop further support skills in the Geelong region.
He said the Federal Government had allocated $500,000 towards establishing the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Model at the College in 2016.
Mr Macfarlane said the P-TECH School Program would focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), partnering with local industry, and providing vocational pathways.
He said a further $1.3 million had been allocated to extend the role of the Geelong Employment Facilitator.
The Minister said the Facilitator would continue to assist people affected by Geelong’s economic transition and work to identify and deliver new job opportunities across the Geelong region.
He said the new Geelong Region Future Jobs Taskforce, to be established to identify and promote job creation opportunities, would be supported by the Employment Facilitator, based in the new Job Connections Office.
“To build on the Free Trade Agreements with China, Korea and Japan, access to Austrade’s export advisory service will be provided through a TradeStart Office in Geelong,” Mr Macfarlane said.
The Minister said this would give local businesses access to Austrade’s Export Advisory Services across all sectors, enabling them to access these key export markets.