Workready subsidy makes Murray Bridge TAFE courses cheaper

Some of the students who started a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management at Murray Bridge TAFE in 2018. Photo: File.
Some of the students who started a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management at Murray Bridge TAFE in 2018. Photo: File.

More than half of the award courses at the Murray Bridge TAFE campus are being offered at discounts of up to 50 per cent due to a demand for qualified professionals.

Nine certificate three courses and one diploma at the campus fall under the federal government's Workready subsidy.

Eligible fields of study include early childhood education, engineering, health administration, aged care and disability support.

Students may save up to half the cost of one or, in some cases, two courses - an amount equal to $817 for a Certificate III in Health Administration or $4931 for a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care.

Eligibility for the subsidy, which is also available for courses with private training providers, is determined by students' employment status, previous qualifications and other criteria.

Regional manager Sarah Lance said Workready opened up a world of possibilities to everyone, whether they had missed out on their university course of choice, planned to take a gap year, never finished high school or had been out of the workforce for some time.

It allowed students who worried about moving or commuting to Adelaide to stay in Murray Bridge, and reduced the burden on those who would struggle to pay the full cost.

Some TAFE courses even guaranteed a place in a bachelor degree.

"If you've got a dream, chase it," she said.

"What's the worst that can happen?

"You're going to end up doing something and being supported to do it, and either it's going to lead to something or you'll end up doing something else."

She said the number of students enrolled at Murray Bridge TAFE was now around 1000 and climbing, partly because a growing number of courses were being offered locally.

About 50 students began a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management in 2018, and a Certificate III in Micro Business Operations and Certificate III in Hospitality will be offered for the first time this year.

More than 8000 prospective students around South Australia received offers of a place in a TAFE course in the first intake of the year, announced on January 7.

Additional entry rounds will follow on January 21, 28 and throughout the year.

Major industries need workers

Industry and Skills Minister David Pisoni said more than 700 courses were now eligible for the Workready subsidy, reflecting the demand for technically skilled workers in the defence, IT, construction, mining and energy industries.

"We are ensuring there is a strong connection between study and work, and balancing our response to what industry is saying they need most," he said.

"Whether a student, a job seeker or a career-changer, apprenticeships and traineeships offer rewarding, well-paid and life-long careers with plenty of opportunities to move up or help start a business."

The state and federal governments hope to create an extra 20,800 apprentices and traineeships in South Australia over four years, and are investing $203 million in their efforts.

Subsidised courses at Murray Bridge TAFE

  • Certificate III in Individual Support – ageing, disability or home and community
  • Certificate III in Business (Skilling SA)
  • Certificate III in Business Administration (Skilling SA)
  • Certificate III in Health Administration
  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Certificate III in Engineering – mechanical trade or fabrication trade