Thursday, 17 September 2020
  • Training enrolments up by 20 per cent as a result of heavily reduced course fees
  • TAFE fees for 34 courses reduced by up to 50 per cent from January 1, with an additional 39 courses reduced by up to 72 per cent in July
  • Biggest enrolment growth in priority industries including electrician, civil construction and hospitality
  • $57 million investment in training driving demand to TAFE and private providers

Training enrolments in priority courses have increased by more than 20 per cent since the start of the year as a result of the McGowan Government’s huge cuts to TAFE fees.

The McGowan Government reduced TAFE fees for 34 priority courses by up to 50 per cent from January 1.

As part of the WA Recovery Plan, fees for an additional 39 TAFE courses were reduced by up to 72 per cent and 15 free TAFE short courses were announced in July.

With training now more affordable, an additional 4,600 local students have enrolled into the 34 first courses, an increase of more the 20 per cent compared to this time last year.

There have been more than 27,700 enrolments in the first batch of 34 high priority courses included in the Lower fees, local skills (LFLS) program since it was rolled out at the start of the year.

Courses seeing the largest enrolment growth include the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (3,250 enrolments), the Certificate III in Individual Support – Disability and Aged Care (more than 2,700 enrolments), and the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (over 2,500 enrolments).

The Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations has seen good results with around 1,500 enrolments, followed by the Certificate III in Hospitality with more than 1,400 enrolments.

The first batch of slashed-fees courses has been especially popular with younger students, with just under half of all enrolments undertaken by students aged 24 or under.

Around 35 per cent of enrolments have been by students living in the regions, with the strongest growth in the Great Southern, which is up 422 students compared to last year.

Since July 2020, when the program was expanded as part of the WA Recovery Plan, there have been 3,150 enrolments in the additional 39 half price courses that were added to the initiative.

These figures reflect all training delivery by Western Australia’s TAFE colleges and contracted private providers.

For more information on Lower fees, local skills and a full list of half price courses visit http://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“My Government has made TAFE a priority and these enrolment figures for our 50 per cent cut to TAFE fees are showing our investment in training is delivering good returns.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see young people are returning to training and TAFE, which was a key target of the Lower fees, local skills initiative.

“We expect more Western Australians to enrol in TAFE, following the additional reductions in course fees of up to 72 per cent announced as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

“TAFE is a major part of WA’s recovery from COVID-19 and our training-led plan will prepare Western Australians to get back into jobs to meet the economy’s immediate workforce needs following the impacts of the pandemic.”

Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

“Training is vital to develop a skilled workforce to support the State’s economic recovery and people are clearly getting the message that now is the time to get a qualification.

“We will continue to invest in training to ensure Western Australia is well positioned to bounce back as the economy recovers.”

Premier’s office – 6552 5000

Education and Training Minister’s office – 6552 5700


Construction industry facing a labour shortage by 2022

Geoff Dart Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Building flags the upcoming labour shortage as a real concern for the industry and the communities we serve.

Whilst the construction pipeline is strong for the commercial and infrastructure sectors, we are impeded by failure of the Reserve Bank and major banks, to pass on the $300b allocated the “Road to Recovery” (ACIF), dating back to the bushfires.

With population growth expected to return to pre-COVID 19 levels in late 2021 and uplift in business activity, we need to be prepared.

“Biggest enrolment growth in priority industries including electrician, civil construction and hospitality.”

The initiative by WA is a great step forward and timely, as the construction students should be graduating at various levels in eighteen months to two years.

Government policy may also consider the re-training of the 100,000 people to lose their jobs in the retail sector over that period. Along with construction, the other industry facing a shortage is agriculture, also in need of infrastructural development.

Let us keep pushing other states and territories to invest in the support required for construction to be a major driver to socio-economic recovery over the coming decade.