The region's childcare and nursing industries were given a leg-up when a revamped Health and Early Childhood Training Centre was officially opened at TAFE Gippsland Morwell campus on March 29.
State Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney was in Morwell to unveil the newly refurbished centre.
The new centre will provide a home for students undertaking a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
Ms Tierney said both of these courses were added to the state government's free TAFE list last year to meet demand from the newly-introduced universal free three-year-old kinder.
"Enrolling in these courses equates to getting a job at the end. These are state-of-the-art facilities and equipment," Ms Tierney said.
"A lot of childcare centres have modern equipment and facilities, so it's very important that our students learn in environments that they will be working in."
The building had already been in use since the final term of 2020 by Nursing, Individual Support (Aged Care) and Early Childhood Education and Care students.
TAFE Gippsland chief executive offfcer Grant Radford said the new centre would allow them to run more courses in the expanded, hi-tech building.
Mr Radford said the previous building was a tenth of the space, meaning that classes had to be rotated and they had to limit the number of students going through.
"We are going gangbusters in regards to early childhood, we have great numbers coming through and it allows us to have up-to-date modern technology," Mr Radford said.
"There is a real employment need in the region, it's great for students to have these real-world and world class facilities.
"We worked closely with local providers to make sure (students) get that experience so when they leave, they are job-ready."
The $3.5 million refurbishment was part of the first phase of major capital redevelopments at the Morwell campus.
It also includes the Morwell Trade Skills Centre due to be finished by the end of 2021, which will feature facilities for courses in electro
technology, new energy systems, instrumentation and plumbing.