South West TAFE is seeing an unprecedented demand for free courses in 2019, and is creating new teaching jobs to cater for the influx of students.
Chief executive Mark Fidge said they had had a huge increase in enrolments and enquiries compared to previous years.
There are 30 programs and courses on offer as part of the free TAFE initiative to address Victorian skills shortages.
Mr Fidge said some courses had experienced a 20 per cent increase with nursing, community services, aged care, hospitality, hair and beauty, trade and agriculture proving popular. “We’re taking enrolments now and have information sessions coming up towards the end of January, but I would say if people are really interested, get in early because you would hate to miss out,” Mr Fidge said.
The influx of students also provides an employment boost with the increased interest creating about 12 new teaching positions.
He said they began advertising on Saturday for qualified teachers and people working in industry who were interested in studying a Certificate IV in training and assessment to become teachers.
Mr Fidge said some staff were recruited last year to prepare for the influx and additional support staff had been employed to help students returning to study.
“There's a lot of people looking to reskill or upskill that who perhaps in the past haven’t thought too much about it or had the capacity to do it," he said. "The interest that’s come through has been fantastic. All in all it’s been really positive for the institute and the region.
Smart technology will be used to deliver some courses to students at Warrnambool, Hamilton and Portland campuses where they may not have had enough interest to run previously.
Mr Fidge said the Skills and Jobs Centre was available to all community members to come in to talk to career advisors and seek job and training information. The independent centres are a Department of Education and Training initiative and are based in TAFEs across Victoria.
Discounted 2019 courses across Victoria are available in a range of areas including agriculture and horticulture, conservation and land management, arts, building and construction, plumbing and electrical, automotive and engineering, business and finance, education and training, food and hospitality, hair, beauty and massage, maritime, nursing and health, community services, tourism, Information and Communications Technology and short courses.
There are also 30 courses that are free for eligible students. There are various certificate and diploma qualifications on offer. Some of these include accounting and bookkeeping, agriculture, automotive, building and construction, commercial cookery, disability, education support, furniture making, meat processing, nursing, plumbing and tourism to name a few.
For more information contact South West TAFE.