Disability and training centre prepares for upgrade

A Latrobe Valley service to assist people with disabilities and barriers to learning and employment is gearing up for a move to new premises.

The GippsTAFE Employment and Transitional Training (GETT) Centre will soon move into purpose built facilities at the new GippsTAFE Academy adjacent to the Traralgon Railway Station precinct.

The building has been designed to allow sunlight to penetrate down through the two floors of the building; within the building are large voids to create a cavernous feeling of space and openness, upper level walkways will connect rooms and facilities and it is a building that will be prominent within the CBD.

The centrepiece of the building is the upper floor garden area which will allow students the opportunity to enjoy the sunlight and fresh air, whilst remaining in the building space.

The GETT Centre has been based in much older facilities in Morwell for some time, and will continue through the GippsTAFE network in Morwell and Yallourn to provide services right across the Latrobe Valley.

GippsTAFE GETT Centre Team Leader, Michael Duncan, said: “With the location of the new facility being at the Traralgon station it benefits many of our clients and students who travel by train to utilise our services.”

As well as relocating the large training program the GETT Centre delivers, the Disability Employment Service (DES) run by the Centre will also be relocated.

The GippsTAFE Academy is located on the “T” intersection of the Princes Highway and the southern end of Franklin Street. The funding for the building is a combination of Ausralian Government funding through the Teaching and Learning Capital Fund for Vocational Education and Training and GippsTAFE’s own resources.

The complex will consist of a Flexible Learning Laboratory; General Purpose Classrooms; and student amenities including a “coffee/tea bar” style break area and, on the second floor, a larger cafe area connecting to an alfresco style decking. The first floor will also include a Conference Centre with kitchen and breakout rooms for specialist and focussed industry groups seeking high level qualifications.

A significant feature of the building will be its extensive use of technology. Each of the classrooms is equipped with touch screens, digital whiteboards and wireless connectivity. This will enable students using the GippsTAFE Academy to remain in touch with the rest of the world, whilst preparing themselves for the world of work.

“The GETT Centre has a proud history of helping people with disabilities and barriers to learning and employment get back on their feet,” Mr Duncan said. “Through its specialised learning programs the GETT Centre assists many young disengaged, disadvantaged and disabled youth to obtain the skills and experiences they need to make a successful transition into the community.

“We pride ourselves on encouraging and assisting our students every step of the way and measure their success at an individual level, with the main goal to help the students successfully transition into employment, community based volunteer work or further study.”

He added: “The new facilities and stronger presence in Traralgon, coupled with the continuation of service delivery through Morwell and Yallourn Campuses of GippsTAFE, will enable the Centre to better assist employers and local businesses understand the benefits of employing someone with a disability and to give our valued employment clients further opportunities.”