MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:31:27): This morning I rise to update the house on the tremendous success of Labor’s free TAFE initiative. More than 25 000 students had commenced training in free TAFE courses at the end of June this year, almost double the commencements in these courses compared to the same time last year. Female students account for 57 per cent of all free TAFE students, up 9 per cent, and female participation has doubled in traditionally male-dominated courses such as agriculture, horticulture, building surveying and cybersecurity. Labor continues to ensure that students are well supported to complete their free TAFE courses. We are providing $8.3 million for work placements assisting TAFEs to employ more staff to identify and support students to find placements with employers and industry; $6 million for support services to assist students facing disadvantage, including new course materials to help students improve their time management, study skills and literacy; $5 million to ensure TAFEs keep up with demand so eligible students can enrol in their preferred free TAFE course; half a million dollars for teaching scholarships to professionals with industry experience to address staffing vacancies in priority areas; and $200 000 for TAFEs to work with the not-for-profit early childhood sector to support placements for students enrolled in our early childhood education free TAFE courses that will commence next year. And I should not forget Labor’s TAFE jobs board website, bringing together all TAFE teaching and administrative jobs across Victoria to a single location and our new Teach at TAFE recruitment campaign. This is vital support that will help young Victorians studying for their first job and Victorians retraining for their next career change leading to the jobs that we are creating. It will support extra staff and help more Victorians get the full benefits of free TAFE.
Tags: Ministers Statements