More than 80 fee-free TAFE qualifications and short courses are available nationwide to help sectors with skill and workforce shortages like the disability and aged care industries.
The fee-free TAFE program began in early 2023 and will continue through 2024 with an additional 300,000 education places on offer across the country.
For fee-free TAFE recipients like Sarbjeet Kaur, the initiative has removed financial barriers preventing them from gaining the skills necessary to enter high-demand sectors of the workforce.
“I really enjoy this job,” the aged care student told the Geelong Times of her placement at Star of the Sea in Torquay.
Federal Member for Corangamite in Victoria, Libby Coker, said the initiative was helping target skill gaps in the Victorian workforce.
“TAFE is one of our greatest assets for ensuring our country is well positioned for future skills challenges, and meeting those challenges will be no small feat,” Ms Coker also told the Geelong Times.
“This will help Victoria reach its target of 64,700 new workers in the health, education and community services sectors needed by 2025.”
Eligibility in the fee-free TAFE program is not impacted by previous qualifications or study and educational places are accessible regardless of background or circumstance.
The initiative does, however, hope to target a number of priority groups, including First Nations people, young people aged 17-24, job seekers and women in non-traditional fields of study.