Upskill in downtime – Free courses will support educators to navigate pandemic
Educators who may have fewer hours or unexpected periods of not working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have the opportunity to use this time to learn a new skill, or enhance their professional development with a fee-free short course from TAFE NSW, or with heavily reduced fees in other institutions.
The fee-free TAFE NSW courses support a broader push by the Federal Government to see Australians use this period of social distancing to develop skills for new jobs in national priority areas such as nursing, teaching, health, IT and science under a plan from the Morrison Government.
Under the plan, announced by the Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan and Federal Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash, the cost to study short, online courses from universities and private providers “will be slashed” to help Australians retrain. The courses will begin at the start of May, and will run for six months.
Ms Cash also said there would be “significant regulatory and fee relief” provided to the vocational education and training sector, as well as higher education, with fees charged by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to be refunded or waived, bringing $100 million back into the cash flow of Australian education and training businesses “so this money can be used to retain employees, reshape education offerings and support domestic and international students”.
There will also be a six-month exemption from the loan fees associated with FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans in the sector in a bid to encourage full-fee paying students to continue their studies despite these difficult times.
A suite of 21 fee-free TAFE short courses has been already released by TAFE NSW, many of which may be of use to those working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. The courses are available online to assist anyone across the State who wants to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The courses cover a wide range of topics including improving leadership skills, enhancing administrative capacity, and practical skills such as writing and presentation.
NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the courses will assist job seekers and workers looking to diversify their skills during the pandemic.
Mr Lee said the courses were being made available to “help business stay in business, and help people stay in jobs” and that while many business and services were “in hibernation” using this period to upskill would be “time well spent”.
The 21 short courses include:
- eMarketing for Small Business
- Engaging Customers Using Social Media
- Writing and Presentation Skills
- Computing Skills
- Team Leader Skill Set
- Administration Skills for Team Leaders.
TAFE NSW Managing Director Steffen Faurby said the organisation is committed to ensuring people have access to first-class, customised training to meet their needs.
More information, including a full list of courses, is available on the TAFE NSW website or by calling 131 601.