Study options shouldn't be 'city centric', Boyer says on Port Lincoln schools tour

Giving locals the chance to stay in Port Lincoln to study was key to halting a worker exodus to metroplitan areas, a senior State minister said this week.

Creating opportunities to study locally - with up-to-date facilities and campuses - would ensure a ready-made market of candidates for jobs in the region.

Blair Boyer, the Minister for Education, Training and Skills, said it was important that study options were not "city centric".

He was on the Eyre Peninsula to visit schools including the Port Lincoln TAFE campus, Navigator College and St Joseph's on May 11 as part of a regional tour initiated by Premier Peter Malinauskas.

Mr Boyer met with staff and students in Port Lincoln before going on to visit to the Area School in Tumby Bay.

He said investing in TAFE campuses such as Port Lincoln would ensure the area had up-to-date and modern facilities, equipment and courses to meet the skills needs in the region.

"These skills and needs of the area could be met locally but also so local people could find local jobs and stay in the area or those who might have gone off to Adelaide to start study or work get an opportunity to come back," he said.

"That has been the recurring message I have had today and yesterday at all my stops."

Mr Boyer said he was impressed with what the students at TAFE were producing during their classes, mentioning it was great to see the St Joesph's students in action durding their barista course.

"The thing I took away from that was the enjoyment and engagement on the faces of the students and the different classes doing the different courses there - that is what I really like to see," he said.

"It is all about making sure that these young people can walk into jobs."

Mr Boyer said he had spoken with TAFE lectures during the Port Lincoln visit about the government's moves to ensure regional campuses were equipped for training in sectors such as aged care and automotive.

"That does take investment because technology moves on," he said.

"I went to the CBD campus of TAFE a few weeks ago with Mr Malinauskas where we announced that we were returning courses that had been cut by the former government to that TAFE, and they had a magnificent nursing and aged care facility in there that is probably is a bit more modern that what is available here."

"The message I got from the lecturers are if we want to make sure we are training a really high quality workforce but also attract students in to do the courses, we need to make sure that what we offering in the regional TAFEs is of the same quality is what we are offering in our metropolitan TAFE."

Premier's team get out to regions

Mr Boyer said Premier Malinauskas was eager for his ministers to make their way out to the regions as quickly as possible.

He had already travelled to the South East in his first few weeks as minister before coming to Port Lincoln.

Mr Boyer said it was important for the government to avoid being "city centric" and visit the wider regions to connect with locals.

"We want to let actions speaking louder than words instead of just saying nice things and actually get out into the area .. .to go around and talk and listen to what investments they need from the government, what local issues are and then we can take that back to Adelaide to make sure we are properly informed about what is happening in South Australia's regions," he said.

Mr Boyer said he had spoke to locals in Port Lincoln about investment possibilities, mentioning the government had "drawn a line in the sand" in relation to TAFE.

"We said we want the cuts to stop like we have in the last four years, we do not want to close campuses, we do not want to cut courses and we do not want to sack staff - big part of TAFE has always been its regional presence and that is really important in the regions," he said.

Mr Boyer said the government was eager to rebuild TAFE, mentioning his task while travelling to regional areas was to discover and note the main priorities by speaking to lectures, students and locals.