Free TAFE Students Getting Skills and Saving Money

Almost 500 jobseekers enrolled in the Andrews Labor Government’s Free TAFE initiative at Federation TAFE last year, making rewarding career pathways a reality for thousands of Victorians.

In its first two years, the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative has helped more than 70,000 Victorians learn new skills or bolster their resumé – with students in Ballarat saving $3,823,110.

More than 1000 Free TAFE students were enrolled at Federation TAFE last year, up by 17 per cent on 2019.

Among the most popular courses at Federation TAFE  was Diploma of Nursing, with an enrolment increase of 44 per cent and Diploma of Community Services which rose by 24 per cent – supporting industry demand in Ballarat.

Importantly, Free TAFE has provided even more Victorians with the skills they need, with overall enrolments at the end of 2020 increasing by 21 per cent on the previous year. It has also improved access to training for women, Indigenous and CALD Victorians as well as Victorian with a disability. The number of people with a disability enrolled at Federation TAFE grew by 154% per cent in 2019/20.

An increasing number of jobseekers are turning to Free TAFE, with the initiative expanding to offer more than 50 courses and support almost 93,000 students commencing since the initiative began. Importantly, training is meeting student expectations, with satisfaction rates reaching more than 84 per cent among graduates.

The Free TAFE initiative began in 2019 and allows eligible students to apply for fully subsidised courses that directly lead to jobs now and into the future.

Since 2014, the Labor Government has made a record $3.2 billion investment to rebuild TAFE and support universities and higher education to ensure Victorians have access to high quality education and rewarding career pathways.

Explore the 2020 Free TAFE Report Card at

Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

I welcome the increase in enrolments at Federation TAFE and particularly the numbers of students with a disability.

As we know, TAFE is a pathway to future opportunities. It’s great that people are enhancing their skills and job readiness with Free TAFE courses.

The Ballarat community and our local economy benefits from having a trained and highly skilled workforce.

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“TAFE can be life changing – it was for me.  Free TAFE has meant that more people can get the skills and training they need for their future career.  It’s great to see so many students at Federation University have taken up this opportunity.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“This new report card shows the tangible benefits of Free TAFE on jobseekers, our local workforce and economy – and that’s exactly why we are making record investments in TAFE and training.”

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