The Victorian state government has allocated $172 million for 30 free TAFE and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses in its 2018/19 budget. The courses include Certificate II in Automotive Body Repair and Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation. An additional allocation of $304 million has been set for new classes and 30,000 TAFE places.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said the new funding will help solve the state’s skills shortage.
“We have to recognise that there are people out there who have skills and aptitudes who should be appropriately rewarded and the government needs to pay a substantial part in skilling those capacities,” he said.
“As we make these investments we would anticipate that we would see more and more people attracted to the technical skills and activities.”
Overseas and interstate students can apply for the courses, though the government says most students will be Victorian. Students who are already studying are ineligible.
The courses run for up to two years and will be reviewed annually.
Described by Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney, as the biggest overhaul of TAFE, skills and training in Victoria’s history, the program also includes $50 million to fund an additional year at school for trade students. These students will now gain their trade qualification and VCE in an apprenticeships and traineeships program to be rolled out at 100 public schools.
The government will also create two new regional education centres at Bendigo Kangan Institute McCrae campus and the Federation Training campus at Port of Sale, while Federation Training’s Morwell campus will receive a substantial upgrade.