62,800 Fee-Free TAFE spots to rock Victoria’s workforce

By Our Reporter
Representative image // Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

In a groundbreaking announcement, the Albanese and Allan Labor Governments have unveiled a master plan to supercharge Victoria’s workforce by offering a whopping 62,800 additional Fee-Free TAFE places. This means more Victorians can now chase the skills they need for the jobs they’ve been dreaming of.

Premier Jacinta Allan, Federal Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor, and Victorian Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney teamed up for this education extravaganza. They’ve managed to secure nearly $107 million in Commonwealth funding to open the doors of knowledge to tens of thousands more eager learners in fields where there’s a dire need for skilled hands, according to an official press release.

Fee-Free TAFE isn’t just your run-of-the-mill training initiative. It’s a superhero cape for education, swooping in to support high-demand sectors, championing priority groups (even the most vulnerable), and ensuring that no student is held back by pesky financial constraints, the release said.

With 143 different jobs in short supply in the state, industries like construction, health services, and early childhood care are yearning for fresh talent. But wait, there’s more! The Fee-Free TAFE frenzy for 2024 is poised to tackle the challenges faced by sectors with workforce woes. It’s already set a record with a staggering 33,600 Victorian enrollments since the start of 2023.

But how have the students benefited so far? Here are the stats:

  • Over 13,600 students have signed up for courses in the Care sector.
  • More than 4,200 have embarked on Construction sector courses.
  • Over 2,800 tech enthusiasts are diving into Technology and Digital sector courses.
  • Another 7,700 brave souls have ventured into other areas of national and state priority.

Now, if you’re curious about the stars of the show, check out the most enrolled Free TAFE courses in Victoria:

  • Diploma of Nursing with 4,833 eager learners.
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, a hit with 2,426 students.
  • Diploma of Community Services, boasting 2,300 enthusiasts.
  • Certificate IV in Cyber Security, attracting 2,220 tech-savvy individuals.
  • Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, where 2,104 numbers are the real stars.

Free TAFE has been nothing short of a game-changer across Victoria, saving over 152,000 students a jaw-dropping $384 million in tuition fees since its launch in 2019. Imagine saving $15,400 while pursuing a Diploma of Nursing or $7,800 in the pursuit of a Diploma of Community Services. And let’s not forget the aspiring cybersecurity heroes who can save around $3,800 on their journey through a Certificate IV in Cyber Security.

Now, for the cherry on top: The funding for Fee-Free TAFE is an extra sprinkle of magic on the $3.1 billion cake that Victoria is getting through the National Skills Agreement.

Scheduled to kick off in January 2024, this landmark five-year agreement is a historic milestone that guarantees students receive the skills they need, and industries get a pipeline of the skilled workers they’ve been craving.

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