The Victorian Government is leading a rapid, coordinated response to ensure the TAFE and training sector continues to provide the skills the state needs to respond to the coronavirus crisis and prepare for recovery.
Data released today shows the Free TAFE program has helped almost 1,200 South West TAFE students start the training they need for in-demand jobs. This marks a 102 per cent increase in commencements compared with the same courses at the end of 2018 at South West TAFE.
In 2019 at South West TAFE, Free TAFE commencements almost tripled for mature-aged students and unemployed Victorians, and almost doubled for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those with a disability.
The number of women in Free TAFE courses increased by 131 per cent compared with 2018.
More than 25,000 students took up courses to bolster the NDIS, Family Violence and Infrastructure workforces. This will provide pathways into the jobs Victoria needs to build and look after our growing state.
Almost 40,000 students commenced Free TAFE training across the state, making an 88 per cent increase in commencements compared with the same courses at the end of 2018.
From the very beginning, Free TAFE has been about filling skills gaps and getting more Victorians into work.
The Free TAFE program is playing an important role in providing a pipeline of essential healthcare workers, such as nurses, during the coronavirus crisis. Free TAFE will also play a crucial role in helping re-train those facing unemployment and underemployment as the state moves towards the recovery phase.
Underlining the importance of TAFE to regional communities and industries, a quarter of Free TAFE commencements were in regional Victoria.
Thanks to Free TAFE, students have already saved up to $10,000 for Diploma-level courses, $5,000 for Certificate IV courses, and $2,500 for pre-apprenticeship courses and have connected into employment in high growth industries.
The most popular Free TAFE courses in 2019 at South West TAFE were, Certificate III in Individual Support, Diploma of Nursing, and Certificate III in Education Support.
Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“Free TAFE has been an incredible success in its first year with thousands of Victorians enrolling in priority courses.”
“As we respond and recover from the coronavirus crisis here in Portland, Free TAFE at South West TAFE will provide the next wave of essential workers for our local industry.