More than 13,500 Victorians are on their way to getting the skills they need for the most in-demand jobs, as the Andrews Labor Government’s Free TAFE initiative sends enrolment numbers skyrocketing.
Labor Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said that February saw a 60 per cent increase in Free TAFE course enrolments compared to the same time last year.
Almost one quarter of Free TAFE enrolments were in regional Victoria, highlighting the importance of TAFE to regional communities and industries.
Whilst the TAFE year has begun, enrolments at TAFEs across Victoria are still open.
Mark Gepp said Free TAFE was boosting female participation in VET training across the board, including in pre-apprenticeship courses, which have traditionally been dominated by men.
There are now 8,000 female students enrolled in training at TAFE institutes across the state – an increase of 77 per cent total number of female students undertaking those courses compared to the same time last year.
Under Free TAFE, female participation in male-dominated courses such as in cyber security and building and construction have also seen a boost with increases of 13 and seven per cent respectively compared with the same time last year.
The Labor Government’s $172 million Free TAFE program is making 30 priority TAFE courses and 20 pre-apprenticeship courses tuition fee free from this year.
Free TAFE for Priority Courses reduces the financial barrier for eligible students wanting to train in the courses that lead to the jobs that are most in demand from Victorian employers.
Students can save up to $2,500 for some pre-apprenticeship courses and up to $5,000 for Certificate IV courses. For high cost courses such as a Diploma in Nursing or a Diploma in Building and Construction, students will save more than $10,000 through the Free TAFE initiative.
For more information on the Andrews Labor Government’s Free TAFE initiative including a list of all 50 Free TAFE courses please visit – FreeTAFE.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Mark Gepp MP, Member for Northern Victoria
“Enrolments at TAFEs are still well and truly open so if you are thinking of studying at TAFE there is no better time to start than now.”
“Not only is Free TAFE changing people’s lives and careers, but it is also playing a role in breaking down barriers for women – barriers which contribute to the gender pay gap.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“Enrolments in Free TAFE continue to grow, with thousands of Victorians jumping at the opportunity to develop skills for the jobs that keep Victoria moving.”
“Not only are we investing in the projects our state needs, we’re investing in the people we need to deliver them.”