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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 September 2014
2 SATURDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2014 Page 9 Domestic terrorism reaction Page 7 Where is the Greek Australian community heading? AUSTRALIA Speaking in Dandenong, in Melbourne's south east, last week, Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Nick Wakeling, announced new measures implement- ed by the Napthine govern- ment aimed at rejuvenating economic and employment growth, by investing in train- ing systems for the unem- ployed. "The Napthine government is investing a record $1.2 bil- lion a year in vocational edu- cation and training, up almost 50 per cent from Labor's last budget in 2010," Mr Wake- ling said. Two new training centres launched by the government - the South Eastern Workforce Development Centre in Dan- denong and the North West- ern Workforce Development Centre in Broadmeadows - seek to boost re-employment opportunities, with services aimed at assisting workers re- enter the workforce. "The two centres were fund- ed through a $30 million package to support workers in the automotive and sup- ply chain sector, outlined in the 2014-15 Victorian State Budget." Mr Wakeling said the South Eastern centre would help the region's local market, which houses a majority of the state's automotive sup- ply chain. "About 60 per cent of Vic- toria's automotive supply chain companies are located in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs, and this centre will offer significant support for workers to transition into new jobs within growing ar- eas of the economy." The measures will particu- larly target manufacturing employees from Ford, Holden and Toyota - whose local fac- tories are set to close by the end of 2017, due to corporate restructuring. Services at the centres in- clude career information, training and re-skilling sup- port, and workshops and refer- rals to other support services, such as financial and employ- ment skills counselling. In his address, Mr Wake- ling did not shy away from criticising the previous Labor government. "We have worked hard to fix Labor's bungled reforms of the training sector by en- suring that training funding is directed into areas of value to the economy. "In Victoria our industry par- ticipation has ensured 72 per cent of training is now in areas of skills shortage and employ- ment growth - more than ever before," Mr Wakeling said. According to the Depart- ment of State Development, Business and Innovation, ap- proximately 287,900 Victo- rians are employed in man- ufacturing, which equates to around 10 per cent of the state's workforce. On the back of those figures, the government is imple- menting a $58 million man- ufacturing project to boost the sector, which contributes $25.6 billion to the Victorian economy. Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) na- tional secretary Mike Nico- laides welcomed any meas- ures that assist workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, but warned the government has missed a "fundamental point". "Wouldn't it be better to have a policy which supports a vi- able manufacturing industry? For example, why wouldn't we build the next generation of our railway rolling stock in Victoria? Why instead does the government seem intent to off-shore this work to Asia?" Mr Nicolaides said. "The Napthine government refers to 'economic restruc- turing' as if it's a natural event, like leaves falling in autumn. In doing so, the gov- ernment is seeking to absolve itself of responsibility." He said that the state gov- ernment should be more in- volved in shaping the indus- try, to assist with re-generat- ing and providing jobs - but added that governance at both the state and federal levels were failing in that respect. The centres officially opened on September 19. Re-education programs on the agenda for unemployed Minister for Higher Education and Skills Nick Wakeling (C) at the official launch of the Dandenong centre. PHOTO SUPPLIED. The Victorian government announces record investment in workforce re-training and education JOHN PYRROS Mihalis Hatzigiannis’ competition winners Recently, Neos Kosmos ran a competition, giving away to our lucky read- ers 10 double passes for the Melbourne concert of Greek pop icon Mihalis Hatzigiannis, presented by Melbourne Festival and the Greek Centre for Con- temporary Culture. The winners of the dou- ble passes are: Val Vissaris, Victoria; Julie Gianfriddo, Victoria; Spiridoula Vlaho- georgis, Victoria; Debbie Xenophou, South Australia; M Fanaritis, Victoria; Ele- ni Kyriacou, Victoria; Atha- nasia Mazi, Victoria; Keti Polyhroniou; Vicky Millis, Queensland; and Patrizio Briganti, Victoria. All the winners will be contacted by Neos Kosmos. Congratulations! As part of Melbourne Fes- tival, Mihalis Hatzigiannis will perform at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday 18 October. Gates open at 6.00 pm, for an 8.00 pm perfor- mance. For more informa- tion visit melbournefesti- val.com.au/mihalis Vasili from Vasili’s Garden was a recent visior to the Alpha Chil- dren's Centre, the Early Learn- ing Centre of the Australian Greek Welfare Society, which cares for children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years. The centre invited Vasili to talk about environmental sus- tainability and the generation of healthy food sources, in or- der to extend the children's knowledge and interest dem- onstrated in previous garden- ing and planting experiences. Vasili demonstrated how a pot could be made out of news- paper and this used to plant a seedling. The pot was then planted into the garden and over time the newspaper will break down and form a nutri- ent source for the seedling to grow along with the manure/ potting mix. This learning formed a good foundation for the children to further their knowledge and enquiry into sustainable practices. Vasili brought along his piano accordion and enter- tained his young audience with music and dance after the planting experience. Sustainability project at Alpha Centre Vasili and the children at Alpha Centre. PHOTO SUPPLIED.
20 September 2014
04 October 2014