People living with disabilities in Victoria are set to benefit from an increase in locally manufactured assistive devices.

A new training program, backed by $1.2 million from the state government, aims to improve assistive technology products and educate healthcare providers on the production of these devices. 

Acting Minister for Skills and TAFE Natalie Hutchins announced the initiative by NORTH Link.

NORTH Link, in collaboration with Swinburne University and Bendigo Kangan Institute of TAFE, will work with the health and manufacturing industries, allied health professionals, and people with disabilities and their carers to develop a targeted training program.

Assistive technology includes a range of tools, equipment, software, and devices, from wheelchairs and mobility aids to screen readers and voice-controlled home appliances. 

This technology is essential for the elderly and individuals with disabilities to perform daily activities.

Currently, most assistive technology has to be imported into Australia, but an upskilled local workforce should ensure that assistive technology becomes more readily available and tailored to meet specific needs, ultimately improving the quality of life for those who depend on it.

Health technology already generates over $3 billion in exports for Victoria each year, while supporting more than 51,700 jobs across the state. 

The new initiative is designed to provide Victorians with the necessary training and skills for a career in the advanced manufacturing sector.

More details are accessible here.