High school students on the North Coast will benefit from a $17 million commitment to upgrade Tweed River High School to include specialist vocational education facilities.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said Tweed River High School will operate with a renewed focus on Vocational Education Training from 2023 as part of the NSW Government’s promised Vocational Schools Initiative.

“Specialist training facilities will be built at the school and preparations for the upgrade have already begun with a discussion about potential industry focus areas,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Broader consultation with the local community has already started; we’re talking to stakeholders including local industry and employers, school leadership and parent and community groups as well as the Public Schools NSW Registered Training Organisations and TAFE NSW.”

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the selection of Tweed River High School follows a comprehensive analysis of all potential secondary schools in the region.

“The school is centrally located with nearby TAFE and university campuses to support the delivery of unique learning opportunities,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The school is part of a community of high schools in the Tweed area who collaborate to improve student outcomes and build staff capacity.

“Other schools in this community – Banora Point High School, Kingscliff High School, Murwillumbah High School and Wollumbin High School – will also benefit from the new vocational facilities at Tweed River High School.”

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the school was ideally located for students looking to pursue vocational pathways into employment.

“The school is also close to the Tweed Valley Hospital Development and Tweed Valley Skills Centre,” Mr Provest said.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the Vocational Schools Initiative is a 2019 NSW Government election commitment to create vocational schools to provide young people with trade skills.

“The Initiative supports young people to engage in learning that builds skills and supports access to trades to ensure all students receive a world-class education,” Mr Lee said.

“We have to inspire the 50 per cent of high school graduates who do not wish to pursue a university pathway by promoting VET as an alternative path towards meaningful careers.”

Seven Hills High School in Sydney will also be developed into a vocational education school as part of the same $34 million commitment.