STUDENTS will have more opportunities to study free TAFE courses in 2022.
Bendigo TAFE is set to add a number of new courses to their list, allowing more people to join the 1300 students who have already benefitted from the state government's Free TAFE initiative.
Bendigo TAFE chief executive Sally Curtain said the program had a critical role in supporting Victoria's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Hundreds have taken advantage of the Free TAFE initiative at Bendigo TAFE and are forging ahead with a new career path," she said.
"The pandemic has been disruptive. At Bendigo TAFE, we're ready and willing to get people back into the workforce with practical qualifications."
Bendigo TAFE Diploma of Nursing graduate Kathryn Stanford said Free TAFE enabled her to pursue a career after 28 years as a full-time mum.
"Because of Free TAFE I was able to study, keep up with home commitments and get employed. It wouldn't have been a possibility if not for this grant," Ms Stanford said.
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The 56-year-old works as an endorsed enrolled nurse at Inglewood and Districts Health Services, and attributes her success to her studies at TAFE.
"This course has given me a sense of personal achievement and confidence in my own ability that I was lacking beforehand," she said.
"I hope that other mature age students are able to take the leap and enrol in a course that they believe will improve their employment opportunities.
"For regardless of the many challenges, we are all capable of stepping outside our comfort zones and achieving what we envision as impossible with a little encouragement and reassurance."
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney said the Free TAFE list now covered more than 60 courses.
"Free TAFE provides high-quality training to get Victorians into some of the state's most rewarding and in-demand jobs. We heard the calls for veterinary nursing to be added to the Free TAFE list - and we listened," she said.
"We've made a record investment in TAFE and training - including expanding the Free TAFE list to more than 60 courses - which means there's never been a better time to explore your new career pathway."
During 2021, the most popular Free TAFE courses at Bendigo TAFE have been:
- Diploma of Community Services
- Diploma of Nursing
- Certificate III in Individual Support
- Certificate IV in Disability
- Certificate III in Horticulture
- Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
- Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services
- Certificate III in Dental Assisting
- Certificate III in Education Support
- Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
In addition to veterinary nursing, other courses to join the free list at Bendigo TAFE next year will include Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety.
More information about Free TAFE at Bendigo TAFE can be found here.
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