Fee-Free TAFE to continue in 2024 in South Australia
The Federal and South Australian Governments will deliver thousands of additional Fee-Free TAFE and VET places for South Australians from January 2024, with the partnership continuing to work towards addressing skills shortages and providing training opportunities to Australians.
15,000 Fee-Free vocational education and training places will be on offer from the start of 2024 building on the enormous success of Fee-Free TAFE throughout this year.
The announcement continues the ‘genuine collaboration’ between the Commonwealth and the South Australian governments and will target areas of skills shortage such as early childhood education and care (ECEC), health care, aged and disability care, technology and digital skills, hospitality and tourism, construction, agriculture, vocational and educational training (VET) workforce, and the defence industry.
The Commonwealth Government will invest more than $28 million in support of the 15,000 Fee-Free vocational education and training places from the start of 2024.
The Agreement will increase opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups, including First Nations Australians, young people (17-24 years of age), people out of work or receiving income support, unpaid carers, women undertaking study in non-traditional fields, people with disability and certain categories of visa holders.
In 2023 there was a strong take-up of Fee-Free places in South Australia, with qualifications in the Care sector (including ECEC), Construction, the Technology and Digital sector and Hospitality and Tourism having the strongest enrolments, adding much-needed skills for these priority industries.
The Fee-Free TAFE initiative has had overwhelming success in its first year exceeding the 180,000-enrolment target by almost 40,000 students, hitting nearly 215,000 enrolments. Around 12,500 of those 215,000 students were in South Australia. Fee-Free TAFE is providing substantial savings to students and providing post-secondary education to students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to pursue it.
Over the next five years, it is predicted that nine out of ten jobs will require post-secondary education with half of those jobs requiring vocational training.
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