Free TAFE courses will have a big impact on local students according to one who plans to take advantage of the Victorian Government’s budget announcement.
Shepparton High School student Jasmine Butcher was already planning on studying nursing once she completed her VCE.
Now she has the added bonus of being able to complete it for free and stay in Shepparton.
‘‘It will be a relief for a lot of people, especially those who can’t afford an education,’’ she said.
Ms Butcher will be the first in her family to train to become a nurse and puts her interest in health down to a caring nature.
‘‘I just want to help people,’’ she said.
Last week, the government announced plans to fully fund 30 TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses from January 1.
Courses include certificates in engineering, horticulture, hospitality and mental health, along with a diploma of nursing.
The free courses will be available at Shepparton’s Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE.
GOTAFE’s skills and employment manager Simone Masters said it was exciting news for her organisation and the people of the region.
‘‘It makes government education more accessible to everybody,’’ she said.
‘‘For those that have barriers and challenges with education financially, it’s a really good initiative for them. It breaks down those barriers that have previously been there.’’
Shepparton would also benefit, Ms Masters said.
‘‘It boosts those that are skilled within the region in those priority areas, it helps industry and the community.’’
Creating free TAFE courses had demonstrated the government’s commitment to tertiary education, Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney said.
‘‘This is the biggest overhaul of TAFE, skills and training in Victoria’s history — it will make sure all Victorians can get the training they need for a good job, building our state,’’ she said.
‘‘We all know the Liberals slashed TAFE and closed campuses but this budget continues Labor’s work to restore TAFE and make it stronger than ever.’’
- Myles Peterson