Colac businesses want university partnership

Deakin University is discussing a training program with some of Colac’s biggest manufacturers, including Bulla Dairy Foods, with hopes of boosting training opportunities for Colac and district residents.

A partnership between Colac’s biggest industries and a university could draw young professionals to the region, boost innovation and help more Colac and district residents get a degree.

Deakin University representatives, including research and innovation head Dr Ben Spincer and ManuFutures director Jason Steinwedel, dropped into Colac last week to talk about having a greater presence in the region creating a program with the city’s manufacturing powerhouses.

The visit came after Polwarth MP Richard Riordan met Deakin vice chancellor Professor Ian Martin at State Parliament and lobbied for a stronger connection between the university and Colac industries, specifically Bulla, Australian Lamb Company and AKD Softwoods.

“All three of them are very keen to develop a stronger relationship with Deakin and are very keen to provide both work experience and placement opportunities for graduates,” Mr Riordan said.

“We are talking about the opportunities to have ongoing or rolling positions, it could be six months or three months, but the concept is each of these industries have the capacity to employ and support multiple tens of people, so the partnership would bring more staff and expertise to Colac.”

Mr Riordan said a partnership with Deakin would be a boon for Colac’s future-thinking industries.

“The only way they stay competitive is being prepared to invest in research and development, and with having a university only 40 minutes away it’s an easy thing to do,” he said.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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