TAFE course fee cuts boost to jobseekers

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times

South West vocational and training companies have welcomed the McGowan Government’s move to slash over 30 specialist TAFE categories by more than 50 per cent.

Engineering trades, tourism, aged care, disability support, hospitality, and nursing are among the fields targeted in the new $53.5 million initiative. From January, fees for the 34 targeted courses will drop by as much as two thirds, with Premier Mark McGowan describing the measure as an investment in the State’s future workforce.

Concession fees — available to anyone aged under 24 — for a Certificate III in Tourism have been reduced from $607 to $198, while a Cert III in Civil Construction drops from $1023 to $334 and a Cert III in Early Childhood Education and Care is down from $752 to $372.

The Apprentice and Traineeship Company chief executive Stan Liaros said the price cuts would benefit both students and employers.

“We welcome the move — any reduction in cost will encourage more of our youth to consider taking on an apprenticeship or traineeship,” he said. “It will trigger thought processes, engagement and uptake of courses and increase employment because these skills are essential to our growing community.” The Apprentice and Traineeship Company is the largest employer of youth in the South West and Mr Liaros said the announcement would help more businesses take on students.

“It brings an end to years of increases which made it difficult for families, who want to find skilled employment, to afford non-concession vocational training,” he said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the South West has an unemployment rate of 6.63 per cent — well above the State average of 5.7 per cent.

South West MLC Adele Farina said those wishing to study at the Busselton TAFE campus would benefit from reduced fees on courses in aged care, community services and early childhood education.

“This investment will ensure local people have access to the skills and qualifications they need to fill high-demand jobs,” she said. “The McGowan Government is committed to delivering the best training outcomes for young people and those seeking to learn new skills to change career paths.”

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