Bushfire skills program helps fire affected communities

Gippsland residents affected by the 2009 bushfires now have access to a free advisory service – and possibly funding support – designed to improve employment and study opportunities within affected communities.

The program, run locally through GippsTAFE, will work with individuals and communities to address the training requirements necessary to assist recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Thanks to significant funding from the State Government and Skills Victoria, those wishing to study will be able to apply for a grant of up to $500 to assist them in meeting the associated costs.

GippsTAFE will take the lead role in the initiative, with the appointment of Bushfire Skills Broker, Ami Summers.

Under the service, the Bushfire Skills Broker will work with people in the region to source appropriate training and upskilling programs. Ms Summers will also work with local employers to train their staff and upgrade their skills.

“There is still much to be done to assist our community continue the recovery since the 2009 fire season,” Ms Summers said. “This project aims to provide resources and assistance to these communities, as well as providing an excellent opportunity for individuals to undertake further study or training in a number of different areas.

“At a personal level I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play a role in the on-going recovery work. I am looking forward to working with our local, bushfire affected communities. Their resilience and determination to rebuild is inspiring, and with the help of this project they can continue to strengthen their communities.”

Eligibility criteria apply to those seeking assistance from this program. Applicants for Government funded grants must have been adversely affected by the 2009 bushfires and must not have previously accessed a grant from the State Government Bushfire Scholarship Fund.

For more information, please contact:

Ami Summers, Bushfire Skills Broker, email AmiS@gippstafe.edu.au or phone: 5120 4576 and mobile: 0488 233 226.