The Brumby Labor Government and racing industry have provided more than $450,000 to provide formal training to more than 3600 thoroughbred industry workers and boost trainee numbers.
The funding, which includes more than $400,000 from Racing Victoria Limited and nearly $50,000 from the Government, will increase workplace traineeships in the thoroughbred industry from 100 in 2007 to 300 in 2010, and provide formal training for more than 3600 existing industry workers over two years.
Skills and Workforce Participation Minister Jacinta Allan said Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) would train existing staff and boost trainee numbers to enhance the skills, culture, safety and reputation of the industry.
“In what is a great result for Victorian workers, Racing Victoria Limited will use the Brumby Labor Government’s skills training system to invest in the skills of Victorians,” Ms Allan said.
“This is a prime example of how fair and necessary changes to TAFE and training are helping the Victorian workforce boost jobs and be better skilled for the future.”
Ms Allan said Racing Victoria Limited would team with the University of Ballarat – which offers TAFE study – to train existing pre-trainers, racing managers, trainers’ assistants, stablehands, picnic jockeys, rider agents and float drivers.
Traineeships would be provided for aspiring stablehands, track riders, racing managers, trainers’ assistants and pre-trainers.
“This large-scale industry change is an example of RVL ensuring clear pathways for Victorians into the racing industry so they can get the jobs they want,” Ms Allan said.
Deputy Premier and Racing Minister Rob Hulls welcomed RVL’s commitment to skills training and said it would further enhance the reputation of Victoria’s racing industry.
“At this time of year, the focus often falls on fashion, fast horses and fascinators,” Mr Hulls said. “But it’s important not to forget the people who make the industry work – the stablehands, track riders and others who for the rest of the year work hard to make our racing industry so successful.”
Mr Hulls also commended the commitment of trainer Mark Kavanagh who hosted the announcement. “The more leading trainers such as Mark Kavanagh support young people coming through the industry and help those already working in it to further their careers, the better off the entire industry will be,” he said.
“Safer work places should be the goal for all employers and RVL must be congratulated on this project, which follows the Government’s $500,000 funding commitment in 2007 for the implementation of the StableSafe program.”