WA’s $57 million training sector recovery package sees ECEC Diploma cost slashed

by Freya Lucas

July 03, 2020

The West Australian Government unveiled a comprehensive $57 million package for the training sector yesterday that will deliver 15 free short courses, including in early childhood education and care (ECEC), and slash TAFE fees by as much as 72 per cent for thousands of Western Australians as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

 

In an expansion of the Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative that rolled out prior to COVID-19, TAFE fees for a further 39 high priority courses will be slashed by as much as 72 per cent. As a result of the expansion, the program will now feature 73 courses to ensure that Western Australians can access affordable training to help them get back into jobs.

 

The TAFE fees announcement is in addition to the new Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re‑engagement Incentive that provides WA employers with a one-off payment of $6,000 for hiring an apprentice and $3,000 for hiring a trainee whose training contract was terminated on, or after, March 1, 2020.

 

“It is particularly important to help young people get into affordable training, which is why we have capped the course fees for concession students and those aged 15-24” Premier McGowan said. 

 

The heavily reduced fees have been targeted to align with the State’s immediate economic needs following COVID-19, with six diploma courses – including Diploma of Nursing, Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and Diploma of Community Services, having their fees reduced by 72 per cent.

  

From the second semester, the maximum annual fee students will pay is capped at $400 for concession students and youth and $1,200 for non-concession students.

 

It is expected that adding a further 39 courses to the Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative will increase annual TAFE enrolments by more than 6,000 students and provide fee relief to more than 27,000 enrolments over the second half of 2020 and during 2021.

 

The package includes $25 million for ‘Free TAFE Short Courses‘ that have been developed in consultation with industry to engage displaced workers, including women and young people, and meet immediate and emerging skill requirements as the economy recovers.

 

The initial list of 15 short courses will be available to around 13,500 Western Australians and includes courses in, hospitality, logistics, cyber security, agriculture, civil construction and small business. Many of the short courses have built-in foundation digital skills and literacy and numeracy training.

 

The free short courses can also be used as a credit towards a full qualification from the expanded Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative.

 

Enrolments will open on Monday July 6, 2020. For more information visit the Jobs and Skills website or contact the local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

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