Education

Fee Free TAFE grows enrolments by 65 per cent

Over 10,000 students took advantage of the Fee Free TAFE program in 2023, skyrocketing enrolment rate.

In 2023, over 10,600 students took advantage of the Fee Free TAFE SA program, marking a significant increase in accessibility to quality education.

In the past two years, TAFE SA (Technical and Further Education South Australia) has witnessed an 65% surge in enrolments after the program was initiated by the Malinauskas Labor Government.

The enrolments also reflect a rise in student diversity and inclusivity, including women entering non traditional fields and students whose first language was not english.

Health-related courses have also boosted due to the initiative, with 113 students enrolling in the Certificate III in Pathology Collection, experiencing a 16% increase.

Other courses that have gained considerable traction among students include the Certificate III in Early Childhood and Care, Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services, Diploma of Nursing, and Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start).

The surge in enrolments in 2023 marks the first year-on-year increase since 2012. Notably, applications for 2024 have also risen by 65% compared to two years ago.

In October 2023, a five-year National Skills Agreement was announced, entailing a substantial $2.289 billion investment in training and skills for South Australia. Part of this investment will be directed towards TAFE SA, enabling the expansion of training places, capital works upgrades, and enhanced support services for students.

Commissioned by the government and developed by Associate Professor Jeannie Rea of Victoria University, the “Roadmap for the Future of TAFE SA” aims to reposition TAFE SA as the primary public training provider in South Australia, as it seeks to align the institution with the evolving needs of the state’s workforce.

Minister for Education Blair Boyer said it was a great achievement for both the state and the next generation.

“It is fantastic to see such a significant increase in the number of enrolments at TAFE SA especially among priority cohorts,” he said.

“We have been working tirelessly to rebuild TAFE SA over the past two years, and we are seeing the results with more South Australians getting the skills they need for the jobs we’re creating.”

TAFE SA Chief Executive David Coltman thanked the State and Federal Government for the support to ensure quality education is available to all.

“We are thrilled with the response to Fee Free TAFE and this has contributed to a return to growth in enrolment numbers over the past 12 months,” David said.

“With the support of State and Federal Governments, we have over 4,500 additional Fee Free TAFE places for the next three years.”

For those interested in pursuing TAFE SA courses, information can be found on their website or by calling 1800 882 661.

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