Lower Fees, Local Skills delivers TAFE and training surge

  • TAFE enrolments for lower fee courses up 27 per cent to 52,300 this year
  • Lower-fee courses in the electrical trades, aged care and early childhood attracting most enrolments
  • McGowan Government has extended fee reductions and fee freeze on targeted courses until 2025
  • Lower Fees, Local Skills working to equip Western Australians with the skills needed to fill jobs now and into the future
  • The McGowan Government’s Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative has delivered a huge increase in Western Australians taking up vocational education and training courses at the State’s TAFEs.

    Lower Fees, Local Skills, recently extended until 2025, is designed to support Western Australians to gain affordable and valuable qualifications in areas local industry needs.

    Introduced from January 1, 2020, the initiative has seen 52,300 enrolments in eligible courses so far this year – an increase of 27 per cent compared to the same period last year.

    Rolled out to make training more affordable, the Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative has slashed course fees for 180 Vocational Education and Training qualifications by up to 72 per cent.

    While some of the courses have been offered at a reduced cost longer than others, across the State the most popular courses to date include:

    • Certificate III in Individual Support (3,660 enrolments);
    • Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (3,150 enrolments);
    • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (2,380 enrolments);
    • Diploma of Nursing (1,680 enrolments);
    • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (1,280 enrolments);
    • Certificate III in Education Support (1,080 enrolments);
    • Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) [Electrotechnology Pre-Apprenticeship] (890 enrolments);
    • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (840 enrolments); and
    • Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations (490 enrolments).

    Lower fee courses are offered in priority areas including construction, engineering, defence, METRONET, information technology, hospitality and tourism, agriculture and community services.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Western Australia’s economy is booming, with growing demand across a whole range of sectors for skilled workers to fill local jobs and support our businesses, big and small.

    “Our success in managing COVID-19 has seen WA’s economy perform better than almost anywhere in the world through this crisis – but this is having an impact on supply chains, including significant demand for labour.

    “My Government has had a keen focus on revitalising the State’s TAFE sector over the last four years – with a range of measures put in place – and these results show that investment is working.

    “There is still more to do to manage these significant pressures and the Skills Summit we are hosting later this month will continue our efforts, in conjunction with the business sector, to address these issues.

    “There has never been a better time for Western Australians of all ages to upskill at one of the State’s TAFEs so they can take advantage of the raft of job opportunities available now and into the future.”

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “The latest Lower Fees, Local Skills data is a great endorsement of the McGowan Government’s efforts over the last four years to revitalise our TAFE and training sector.

    “We have recently extended our TAFE fee freeze through to 2025. Keeping training fees low will ensure all Western Australians can continue to upskill or transfer their skills for a new beginning and is essential to engage young people in training that leads to jobs.

    “It is really pleasing to see people taking up these opportunities and I encourage anyone who is looking for a career change or needs alternative employment to consider TAFE as a way forward.”

    As stated by Mirrabooka MLA Meredith Hammat:

    “Quality, affordable local training opportunities are vital to help Western Australians get into good quality jobs, and it is terrific to see the impressive uptake in a range of affordable courses at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Balga campus.

    “The McGowan Government is continuing to invest in training to meet the needs of local industry and ensure Western Australians, young and old, continue to be well equipped to get good jobs, now and into the future.”

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