Every eligible Victorian will be guaranteed a training place in a massive $316 million overhaul of the training sector.
Under the biggest investment in Victoria’s history to the state’s training sector, 172,000 extra Government-supported training places will be created and in a landmark deal with the Commonwealth university-style loans will be made available to students studying diploma and advanced diploma qualifications.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said the announcement would be good for students, employers, and the training sector while also tackling skills shortages.
“The Brumby Government will be provided a Government supported place for every eligible student who wants to train, re-train or boost their qualifications,” Ms Tierney said.
Securing Jobs for Your Future is the largest ever single investment in the VET system.
Key features include:
• The establishment of a Victorian Training Guarantee. This Australian-first initiative, gives people the entitlement to access Government-subsided training at any time so long as they keep moving up the qualification scale for skills;
• The creation of up to 172,000 additional training places;
• We will fund the hiring of an extra 900 teachers and 500 non-teaching staff;
• We will support greater student choice – by enabling eligible students to train at either public or community providers, including a much broader range of private providers;
• We will create the opportunity, for the first time, for students to access finance to study in TAFEs and private RTOs;
• We will boost the workforce and IT capacity of the TAFE and Adult Community Education sectors;
• We will give businesses support to make the training system easier to access for their workforces; and we will redesign the system to make VET easier to navigate for students and business.
“In a national first, the Commonwealth has agreed to extend its FEE-HELP structure to cover Victoria’s training sector.”
Ms Tierney said under the new fairer fee structure, fees for basic courses such as maths, reading and writing would be reduced, while fees would be increased for diplomas and advanced diplomas.
“Currently, someone learning how to read and write pays the same as someone studying aerospace engineering – that is not a fair fee system.”
Other parts of the upgrade of Victoria’s training sector include:
• $52 million to deliver Skills for Growth – a new workforce development program to help Victorian businesses develop the skills of their workforce;
• $20 million investment into boosting broadband capacity in TAFE;
• $10.8 million to boost the capacity of Adult and Community Education providers right across the state;
• $8 million to make it easier for students, the community and employers to access information on training options, employment trends and skills shortages;
• $4 million to boost the Industry Training Advisory Boards to improve industry input to policy and decision making at the highest level; and
• $2.5 million to train 250 industry practitioners as teachers in the training sector; along with broadening the skills of 1000 existing teachers;
• A fairer fee structure with access to a University-style loan scheme for some students;
The Brumby Government will also provide $20 million to boost broadband capacity for TAFEs across the state.
“The Victorian Government will also fund the training of 250 industry experts so they can deliver training,” Ms Tierney said.
“People with recent industry experience will be encouraged to take up part-time teaching, while still working in industry.”
Without change Victoria faces a shortage of 123,000 highly skilled workers.
“The Victorian Government is delivering significant infrastructure projects and attracting high tech jobs to the state – we need skilled Victorians to fill these jobs.”
Ms Tierney said the $316 million reform package was an essential investment into supporting business, industry, community and the economy.