Folks, it’s most definitely an election year in Victoria, and it’s one where an incumbent Labor Government has a hefty surplus to play around with too, because Premier Daniel Andrews is flinging cash around like there’s no tomorrow.
The leader of the Labor party and leader of the state has just announced an initiative that will see dozens of TAFE courses be offered completely free of charge to Victorian students, in a bid to address growing gaps in vital skill sectors.
The 2018/19 Victorian State Budget is in the process of being delivered, and among the key policies is a promise to inject the TAFE and vocational training industries with cash that will allow a big heap of practical courses to be carried without charge to the student.
Andrews confirmed the policy on social media a short time ago.
From next year, all these major TAFE qualifications and apprenticeship pathways will cost you nothing to complete in Victoria. That’s right. No course fees. Nothing. Free. #VicBudget pic.twitter.com/rNYfyvHtvQ
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) May 1, 2018
Premier Andrews continued, stating that all the courses are in growing “priority” industries, meaning chances of post-education employment are high, asserting “we need more young people with the right skills to keep the state moving, and this is how we’ll do it.”
As listed in the graphic above, the TAFE courses included in the fee-free scheme come from sectors and fields like nursing, accounting, agriculture, age care support, disability care and support, construction and building, automotive, hairdressing, signage and graphics, food services, and engineering pathways.
All sectors represent vital, under-manned areas of practical skill that will require significant bolstering as the state’s population continues to grow, and associated infrastructure continues to expand.
No further word on when the fee restructuring will occur was immediately available, but Andrews’ promise indicates it will come into effect in time for the 2019/2020 financial year.
The 2018 Victorian state election is scheduled for November 24th this year, and with a budget like this one being delivered it is well and truly game on.