The WA Government has strengthened TAFE by capping 2017 fee increases to the consumer price index (CPI) while increasing the fee concession from 50 per cent to 70 per cent for eligible students.
WA Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said about 20,000 concessional students would only have to pay 30 per cent of course fees under the changes, which were aimed at encouraging those people to start or continue training.
“As the Western Australian economy transitions from the mining construction phase, we need to ensure as many people as possible are learning skills which lead to jobs,” Ms Harvey said.
An example of the new fee structure is the course fee for a Certificate III in Business, which currently costs a concessional student $1,055 but after the fee changes are applied, will reduce to $615.
The Deputy Premier also announced capping TAFE fees across the board at CPI instead of the budgeted four per cent increase.
“This is the second year I have been able to cap fee increases to ensure TAFE is a viable option for school leavers and workers looking to re-train or upskill,” she said.
“The WA State Government introduced Future Skills to ensure the biggest taxpayer subsidy went towards courses where we know there are jobs for graduates with those skills.
“Since its inception, there has been a 21 per cent increase in enrolments in those priority courses and the WA State Government still subsidises the total cost of all training by an average of about 85 per cent.”
Ms Harvey said the WA Government had invested $288 million in training facilities since 2009, to ensure students were equipped with the best skills to get a job in the industries driving the Western Australian economy.