Bridging the knowledge gap

Macedon Ranges Further Education student Ian Jackson. (Damjan Janevski) 242875_01

By Oliver Lees

Macedon Ranges Further Education Centre (MRFEC) is now accepting enrolments for their next semester.

Based in Gisborne, MRFEC provides courses tailored to assist adult learners to develop skills for personal and professional development.

Macedon Ranges resident Ian Jackson just completed his first semester of an introductory computer skills course with his daughter.

The 70-year-old said the course, which covered how to use Microsoft software, had helped him build confidence in an area where he had always felt behind.

“It was hard yakka, but I enjoyed the course immensely,” Mr Jackson said.

“Computers are something I wouldn’t generally be using, but I bought one for the grandkids and wanted to make sure I was able to help them out.

“I’m a builder by trade, so there’s no computers in my day. I absolutely felt like I had a gap [in my knowledge], I’m feeling a lot easier and better about it now.”

MRFEC is one of 250 state government-funded Learn Local centres across the state.

Students can enrol in a range of courses including bookkeeping for small business, calligraphy, food safety and French.

MRFEC centre manager Monica Smyker said she enjoyed being part of an organisation that designed strategies to “bring interest and meaning to people’s lives”.

“We’ve developed programs to help use smart technology that make people’s lives easier, especially the ageing population and people with disabilities,” she said.

“We have people from as young as 18 right through to their mid-80’s.”

We’re offering lifestyle and leisure courses and others are building up their skills for jobs they’re already in. For instance we help people to improve their conversational English.”

The next semester starts on July 14.

For course and enrolment information, visit: