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History of the Project

Skilling the Bay was originally conceived in 2011 as a project to support Geelong’s retrenched workers while building a skills base for the region’s future workforce.  In its early days, a key focus of Skilling the Bay was to integrate cutting edge research and innovation to create new business opportunities in the region.  

Supporting industry development 

As the project gained momentum and support, it received a $500,000 Victorian government grant to pilot the Geelong Future Industry Project (GFIP). GFIP developed from a partnership between the biotechnology company Cytomatrix, the engineering company Austeng, and Deakin University. The partner organisations worked together to pilot an advanced manufacturing plant for the production of short nanofibres.  

Building a case for targeted skills development and investment in Geelong

With Geelong’s economic and workforce transformation placing the region in a stage of great change, Skilling the Bay's initial support for workforce development progressed to building a comprehensive understanding of regional labour force needs and the identification of potential future industry and workforce growth areas.  A snapshot profile of the Geelong regional labour market was subsequently developed.  

Community consultation

In 2013, Skilling the Bay released a discussion paper on the future of work in Geelong and ran community consultations.  A Geelong Jobs Summit was convened in June 2013 with key leaders from across the Geelong region. The Geelong Jobs Summit attracted broad community support and invaluable input contributing to the Skilling the Bay Priority Actions Report published in late 2013. 

$4.6 million investment in four projects

The Priority Actions Report findings identified the need for a determined and sustained commitment to lift educational attainment of both young people and adults, and to increase workforce participation by promoting re-engagement with education and training. The report and initiatives were approved by the State Government and were funded through an investment of $4.6 million over 2014-17.  

A further investment in education and skills

The Priority Actions Report included a commitment to explore further actions to support emerging industries, employers and workers in the Geelong region. Following further consultation with stakeholders, an additional investment of $4.6m was announced in June 2014 to deliver five new initiatives that would:

  • promote the growth of existing and emerging industries 
  • support the re-skilling of workers
  • build entrepreneurial capability 
  • raise educational attainment levels in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Skilling the Bay today – Goals and initiatives

Taken together, the 11 initiatives delivered through Skilling the Bay are contributing to the achievement of three key goals for the Geelong region:
Education – Informing and raising educational attainment levels focused on pathways to employment;
Employment – Increase workforce participation through training and re-skilling; and
Skills – Grow existing and emerging industries through targeted skills development.

Skilling the Bay Strategic Plan

Skilling the Bay has successfully delivered on the goals outlined in the 2016-17 Strategic Plan. Led by the Advisory group, the Project Management Team is currently developing the ongoing strategic direction to grow its regional leadership role, strengthen existing initiatives and build the case for future innovative initiatives in Geelong.

Geelong Education and Workforce Profile

Skilling the Bay has developed The Geelong Education and Workforce Profile Report 2011-2021.
The report sets out a rationale for a continued regional effort to address structural adjustment and mitigate against the risks of industry 4.0, outlining regional needs, future challenges, opportunities and growth areas. Skilling the Bay seeks to ascertain the regional aspirations to undertake the recommendations suggested in the Report and act on them collaboratively. View the full report here.

Skilling the Bay – 2021 and 2022

STB received a further $1.6 million dollar funding commitment in the November 2020 Victorian State Budget from the Department of Education and Training (Learning, Teaching and Pathways Division). This funding recognised the important role STB plays in the regional education landscape, linking students with vocational opportunities in the changing Geelong economy. The focus of the funding is to continue to deliver programs that inspire and engage secondary students in learning and the world of work in close collaboration with The Gordon TAFE.

Preparing Geelong for the jobs of the future through education, employment and innovation

Our training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. | Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne.

ABN: 27 241 053 246. | TOID: 3044 | CRICOS Provider No. 00011G | © Gordon Institute of TAFE 2014