The Australian Capital Territory faces a potential long -term skills shortage following significant cuts to
fund ing for students across a range of qualifications. That’s the conclusion of the Independent Tertiary
Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the higher
education, vocationa l education, training and skills sectors.
“These changes came as a surprise to quality vocational education and training providers across the
Territory. There had been no consultation on the changes, with them being announced one day and
coming into force the very next day,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.
Information released by Skills Canberra shows that across the board, the ACT Government has slashed
funding for students by 30% to 50% in key areas such as early childhood education, digital media and
community services. Support funding for some students in building and construction disciplines has been
“In an environment in which many employe rs across the Territory are struggling to find skilled workers, it
is stunning that the ACT Government has made such significant reductions to the support provided to
students looking to vocational education and training to gain new skills,” Mr Williams sa id.
The cuts made by the ACT Government will also affect the long -term viability of the independent
vocational education and training sector.
“The Territory’s independent vocational education and training sector has a strong reputation for providing
students and their employers with quality outcomes. The cuts to student support announced by the ACT
Government makes it difficult for these providers to survive over the long -term,” Mr W illiams said.
ITECA has raised the concerns of its members with the ACT Government. An emergency meeting of
independent providers from across the Territory is being convened to consider how to best support
students in the context of the cuts.
“There’s a g reat deal of concern about how the sector will support students who are looking forward to
embarking on studies that will help them along in their career. ITECA members are considering the best
way forward in the context of the ACT Government’s cuts to funding that support students,”
Mr Williams said.