Canberra veterans can now access fee-free TAFE courses at CIT, with the eligibility criteria expanded ahead of semester two.
The jointly funded ACT and Federal Government program has reached 1000 enrolments since it launched earlier this year, which means 1500 spots remain open to those who want to take it up for the rest of 2023.
Originally, the courses were only available to school leavers and job seekers, but Skills Minister Chris Steel said opening up the option to former and serving Australian Defence Force members meant providing more than 11,000 veterans with an opportunity to upskill or change careers.
“These are often highly skilled people, but they often have very specialised skills,” he said.
“This is an opportunity to recognise what skills they have, but also give them an opportunity to learn new skills to move into a brand new industry.”
A range of free short courses will also be available for any Canberrans over the age of 17 who have left school, regardless of whether they meet any of the other criteria for the rest of the available courses.
“This will enable Canberrans to upskill in the job that they already have, to be able to deliver new skills in those areas, as well as enable Canberrans to potentially think about reskilling and moving into new industries,” Mr Steel said.
The variety of courses available under the scheme has also been expanded to cover study areas including information technology, construction, nursing and other community services.
Mr Steel described this as an “extraordinary opportunity” for free learning at a time when there was a “significant workforce shortage” both in the ACT and across the country.
“Many of the courses that we’re adding to the list will target those areas and hopefully encourage more people into training so that they can get the skills needed to go into those jobs that are available,” he said.
“We’ve focused on a range of skills needs areas, but we’ve also expanded it out to a range of courses that will support the creative and cultural life of Canberra.”
So far this year, under the scheme, there have been more than 200 enrolments in a Certificate IV in cyber security, more than 130 enrolments in a Certificate III in early childhood education and care, and more than 100 enrolments in a Certificate IV in community services.
CIT executive director of education and training services Josephine Andersen said the program was hitting the mark both in terms of meeting student demand and skills needs in the Territory.
“There are so many career options based on studying a VET qualification, and in fact, there’s nothing to preclude people who already have a degree,” she said.
“The proof is in the pudding – our graduates achieve excellent job outcomes.”
The courses that have been added to the Fee-Free TAFE course list are:
- Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Diploma of Accounting
- Diploma of Project Management
- Certificate IV in Leadership and Management
- Diploma of Leadership and Management
- Certificate I in Spoken and Written English
- Certificate II in Spoken and Written English
- Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism
- Diploma of Travel and Tourism
- Diploma of Nursing
- Certificate II in General Education for Adults
- Certificate IV in Community Development
- Certificate III in Information Technology
- Certificate IV in Information Technology
- Diploma of Information Technology
- Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
- Certificate IV in Building and Construction
- Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
- Diploma of Graphic Design
- Certificate IV in School Based Education Support
- Diploma of Screen and Media
- Certificate IV in Music
- Certificate III in Community Services (designed for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples).
The program is part of a $16.5 million initiative between the ACT and Federal Governments to meet skills demands in the Territory, with 2500 places funded for 2023.
The Federal Government has indicated its support to fund the program for five years as part of a national skills agreement.
For the full list of available courses, including short courses open to all Canberrans who have left school, visit the Skills Canberra website.
Information on how to enrol can be found on CIT’s website.