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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

A Heap of New TAFE Courses Could Soon Be Free for Sydneysiders

If Labor is elected this March, you could complete a childcare or plumbing course without spending a cent on fees.
By Samantha Teague and Lauren Vadnjal
February 11, 2019
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A Heap of New TAFE Courses Could Soon Be Free for Sydneysiders

If Labor is elected this March, you could complete a childcare or plumbing course without spending a cent on fees.
By Samantha Teague and Lauren Vadnjal
February 11, 2019
  shares

These days, a free tertiary education is something of a myth — your parents might have got it, you know some other countries offer it, but you've certainly given up all hope of getting any sort of affordable qualifications. But if Labor is elected at the upcoming NSW election, you'll be able to complete a selected TAFE course without spending a cent on fees.

Announced this morning by Opposition Leader Michael Daley and NSW Shadow Minister for Skills Prue Car, the program would see a Labor State Government cover 600,000 TAFE places across a ten-year period. The program would see free courses for all certificate levels in skill shortage areas, including childcare, aged care, disability care, construction, plumbing and electrical trades.

Coming into effect from January 2020, it would replace Liberal's Smart and Skilled program, which sees fees covered for up to 100,0000 TAFE apprenticeships over a four-year period. The Labor-led program covers a wider scope of courses, with the lineup of free certificates and apprenticeships modified each year to cater for changing skill shortages, according to SBS.

The first four years of free courses is estimated to cost the government $64.5million, with potential students eligible for one free course each.

Mr Daley said the free courses would be beneficial to both school-leavers and older NSW residents considering a career change (or changing career out of necessity). "Free TAFE will help those starting out or those retraining to find jobs in industries that are crying out for more workers," Mr Daley said in a statement.

The offer comes six weeks out from the state election, as both candidates ramp up their campaigns — hitting us with election promises left, right and centre. Expect many more in the lead-up to March 23.

Published on February 11, 2019 by Samantha Teague

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