Boost for ECEC workforce with Cert III and Diploma courses commencing in Victoria
More Victorian students are on their way to a career in early childhood education and care (ECEC) with the commencement of Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care courses in Colac last week.
Victorian Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney visited South West TAFE’s Colac campus on Friday last week to officially launch the courses, which have been added to the Free TAFE course list this year and are now tuition-fee free for eligible students, thanks to a $28.5 million funding from the Victorian Government.
The Free TAFE initiative reduces the financial barrier for students wanting to train in courses that lead to jobs in demand from Victorian employers in sectors such as ECEC. The Free TAFE initiative has been a success, with almost 40,000 students enrolling in Free TAFE courses by the end of 2019.
The increased demand for qualified early childhood educators is due to the roll-out of the Government’s biggest reform in early childhood education in Victoria’s history, providing all three-year-old children access to a funded kindergarten program.
The reform is expected to create more than 6,000 new early childhood teaching jobs, including 2,000 VET-qualified educators and 4,000 degree-qualified teachers by 2029.
Local government areas such as Colac-Otway Shire are among those to benefit from three-year-old kindergarten in 2021, as part of a progressive roll-out of the program across the state.
“Having these courses added to the Free TAFE list is going to give more locals the opportunity to take on a rewarding career educating and caring for our youngest Victorians,” Ms Tierney said.
South West TAFE CEO Mark Fidge said ECEC careers would provide the students with “an incredibly important and rewarding role” adding that South West TAFE are “pleased to be able to offer this training to the Colac and surrounding communities under the Government’s Free TAFE initiative.”
To learn more about the Free TAFE initiative, please see here.