The first cohort of Free TAFE students from TAFE Gippsland have graduated from their courses and are beginning to secure jobs, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s landmark Free TAFE initiative.
Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney today visited TAFE Gippsland’s Morwell Campus to congratulate students completing Certificate III in Individual Support.
The Labor Government is investing in TAFE to give Victorians the skills they need to get the jobs they want – and help grow the Victorian economy.
These new graduates now have the qualifications they need to secure jobs in the growing aged care and disability sectors – one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia – with a significant number of students already having been offered jobs, highlighting the strong demand locally for their skills.
In Victoria, the healthcare sector already employs almost 13 per cent of the state’s workforce, with the figure set to rise further thanks to the introduction of the NDIS and an ageing population. Jobs relating to Certificate III in Individual Support are expected to grow by about 16,000 workers – a 19 per cent increase – in the next five years.
More than 25,000 students have started Free TAFE courses, driving a 92 per cent increase in commencements in these courses compared to the same period in 2018. The Labor Government recently announced $11.7 million to accommodate this strong student demand for Free TAFE and support its growth.
Female students account for 57 per cent of all Free TAFE students, up nine per cent compared with the same courses last year. The data also shows female participation has doubled in traditionally male-dominated courses such as Agriculture, Horticulture, Building Surveying and Cyber Security.
Meanwhile, students over the age of 30 account for 47 per cent of Free TAFE students and more than a quarter of Free TAFE commencements are in regional Victoria.
Thanks to Free TAFE, students can save up to $2,500 for some pre-apprenticeship courses and up to $5,000 for Certificate IV courses. For higher level 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.
Since 2015, the Labor Government has invested more than $1.3 billion to rebuild our TAFE system and ensure students can get the skills they need for the jobs they want. This includes $60.5 million for upgrades at TAFE Gippsland’s Morwell and Port of Sale campuses to give students the world-class facilities they need.
Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney
“Thanks to Free TAFE, these TAFE Gippsland graduates now have the skills and knowledge they need to help kick off their careers in Victoria’s growing disability and aged care work sectors.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“Not only does the Free TAFE program help job seekers across Gippsland find ongoing work, it also ensures those with the highest care needs can get the support they need, and stay close to friends and family.”