TAFE NSW will expand access to local training opportunities with the installation of contemporary digitally enabled virtual teaching and learning spaces at campuses in Cootamundra, Cowra, Temora and Young.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed this development for the local TAFE network.

“This investment forms part of a $20 million initiative to build 200 high-tech, modern learning spaces to support virtual learning across TAFE NSW campuses by May 2022,” Ms Cooke said.  

“The initiative will expand and enhance access to training, allowing more students to live and learn in their own communities, while gaining access to the skills they need to be work ready,” Ms Cooke said.

The investment will be used to integrate physical, digital, and virtual learning environments across New South Wales.

TAFE NSW campuses at Cootamundra, Cowra and Temora will be fitted with four state-of-the art digitally enabled learning spaces, designed to link local students with a state-wide network of industry qualified TAFE NSW teachers. This will enable students in the Riverina to participate in classes, no matter where their teacher is located.

TAFE NSW Young will also receive funding to install a virtual delivery space, designed to enable teachers and industry experts to train students located around the state via a virtual classroom. This will enable Young-based teachers to share their highly sought-after industry experience with students no matter where they live.

As part of the investment, a number of specialist facilities across NSW will be upgraded, including workshops, kitchens, and laboratories which will be fitted with technology and equipment to support practical demonstrations. This will enable students living in regional and remote communities to observe live practical demonstrations conducted in industry-standard and fully equipped teaching facilities.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said TAFE NSW is evolving to meet the changing learning needs of student and local communities.

“TAFE NSW recognises each student learns differently. This investment will increase access to flexible and engaging study options for students, no matter where they live,” Mr Lee said.  

“This investment ensures people living in regional communities have access to a greater range of teacher-led, digitally enabled courses, and allows them to build skills highly valued by employers, such as digital literacy, remote working, problem-solving, and resilience.” 

“TAFE NSW is playing a critical role in the state’s COVID recovery by ensuring more job seekers and school leavers have access to the training they need than ever before.”  Construction of 200 connected facilities will commence in coming months.