Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney announced this week a $274 million guarantee to lock in funding at pre-pandemic levels so that Victoria’s training system can continue to deliver world class training through to 2021.
Up to $274 million will be available for business continuity grants to TAFEs, dual sector universities, Learn Local providers and AMES Australia. This commitment recognises that restrictions, while necessary to keep Victorians safe, have impacted student numbers and revenue that the TAFE and community training sector would otherwise expect.
“Our TAFEs and community providers have continued to deliver high quality training throughout the coronavirus pandemic and this funding gives them the backing and financial certainty they need,” Tierney said. “We will keep investing in and working with TAFEs and training providers to make sure Victorians continue to get the skills our economy needs most.”
The funding builds on a $260.8 million guarantee announced in April that locked in funding at pre-pandemic levels from April to the end of June and a further $209.1 million in support from July to the end of September. This fresh $274 million guarantee extends the support for the sector through to March 2021.
The continuation of this funding is helping TAFEs and training providers retain staff, transition to online and remote learning where necessary, and carry on with teaching skills that will be critical as the state prepares to bounce back from the economic effects of the pandemic.
The boost of financial support means TAFEs will continue to provide the pipeline of crucial workers the state needs for its economic recovery, including healthcare workers responding to the pandemic, apprentices and tradies working on our massive infrastructure agenda.
Earlier this year, the Victorian Government also announced the $163 million Skills for Economic Recovery Package, which will ensure an extra 18,000 places will be available for Victorians to train at TAFEs and Learn Locals.
That package includes urgent action to increase the availability of targeted short courses that aim to help retrenched workers and job seekers pursue career paths to professions where there are jobs available and to support upskilling for existing employees.